25 Well-liked Shakespeare Poems (Free Printables)


William Shakespeare, who lived from 1564 to 1616, is broadly thought-about to be the best author within the English language. He was extraordinarily prolific, having written 38 performs and over 150 sonnets. Whereas Shakespeare wrote a handful of poems that weren’t sonnets, most of his poetry does fall into the sonnet class. Sonnets are 14-line poems that comprise 4 quatrains of 4 strains every and a ultimate couplet of two strains on the finish. Listed below are a few of our favourite Shakespeare poems to share together with your college students.

Be sure you fill out the shape on this web page to get the total textual content of every poem as a free printable to make use of together with your college students!

Sonnet 18

Shall I examine thee to a summer time’s day?
Thou artwork extra beautiful and extra temperate:
Tough winds do shake the darling buds of Could,
And summer time’s lease hath all too brief a date. …

When individuals consider Shakespeare poems, this one probably involves thoughts. The theme of this poem is immortality. On this sonnet, Shakespeare seeks to clarify how love and sweetness might be made immortal via the poem itself. The ultimate strains exemplify this message, explaining that so long as individuals breathe and see, the poem will survive and thus give life to the topic of the poem.

Venus and Adonis

Even because the solar with purple-colour’d face
Had ta’en his final go away of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheek’d Adonis tried him to the chase;
Searching he lov’d, however love he snicker’d to scorn. …

This very prolonged poem is taken into account pastoral because it has many detailed descriptions of nature. One other central theme is that of affection and lust because the poem focuses on the unrequited love that the Goddess Venus has for the human Adonis. As with different Shakespeare works, the story ends in tragedy.

Sonnet 116

Printable poem called Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare on teal background.
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Let me to not the wedding of true minds
Admit impediments; love isn’t love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to take away.

This sonnet makes an attempt to outline love by each describing what it’s and in addition what it isn’t. The speaker ends the couplet with a press release of certainty saying that if love isn’t as he has outlined it, then he has by no means written a phrase and no man has ever been in love.

All of the World’s a Stage

All of the world’s a stage,
And all of the women and men merely gamers. …

This poem/speech is from Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. It’s an prolonged metaphor, with the speaker, the character Jaques, evaluating the world to a stage and the entire people on the planet to actors. The poem particulars the seven phases of life from beginning via dying. Every particular person, in their very own approach, is performing a distinct function all through their lifetime relying on the state of affairs.

Sonnet 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing just like the solar;
Coral is much extra purple than her lips’ purple;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires develop on her head.

This sonnet is an inverted love poem for the reason that speaker compares his lover to many lovely issues, however all the time in an unflattering method. Whereas the speaker does discover his lover lovely, he’s resisting the poetic trope of exaggerating a lady’s magnificence via similes. Whereas a standard love poem would possibly say {that a} girl’s lips have been as purple as a rose, right here the speaker says “coral is much extra purple than her lips’ purple.” The speaker makes clear that though his lover isn’t good, his love for her is simply that.

Sonnet 43

When most I wink, then do mine eyes greatest see,
For all of the day they view issues unrespected;
However after I sleep, in goals they give the impression of being on thee,
And darkly brilliant are brilliant in darkish directed.

On this sonnet, the speaker proclaims that he sees greatest when his eyes are closed. “When most I wink, then do mine eyes greatest see.” The speaker is, in fact, referencing sleep and due to this fact a standard theme in Shakespeare poems: goals. Whereas paradoxical, the speaker sees greatest at evening together with his eyes closed as he goals of his beloved.  

Sonnet 73

That point of 12 months thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do dangle
Upon these boughs which shake towards the chilly …

The theme of this sonnet is getting older. All through the poem, the speaker speaks of dying as a pure life course of, using nature imagery. He makes use of three metaphors all through, the topics of that are age, dying, and love. He compares himself at first of the poem to a tree in fall that incorporates few or no leaves anymore.

Sonnet 29

Printable poem called Sonnet 29 by William Shakespeare on teal background.
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When, in shame with fortune and males’s eyes,
I on their own beweep my outcast state,
And hassle deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my destiny …

This sonnet focuses on the themes of affection, wealth, and loneliness. The poem begins with the speaker feeling remoted and less-than as he describes himself “needing this man’s artwork and that man’s scope.” Nonetheless, by the tip of the poem, the speaker realizes that pondering of his lover brings him nice happiness and wealth. This message is introduced residence by the ultimate strains of the poem, “For thy candy love remembered such wealth brings / That then I scorn to alter my state with kings.”


Each factor that heard him play,
Even the billows of the ocean,
Hung their heads after which lay by.

This poem is about Orpheus, who was a poet, musician, and seer in Greek mythology. Shakespeare writes of how Orpheus’ music was so highly effective, it was capable of bend parts of nature and even result in “a long-lasting spring.” Shakespeare employs personification in his descriptions of the mountains and the ocean.

Hark! Hark! The Lark

To ope their golden eyes;
With each factor that fairly is,
My woman candy, come up:
Come up, come up.

As with many Shakespeare poems, there may be each pastoral language in addition to personification discovered on this comparatively brief poem. It additionally includes a rhyming sample of ABAB the place each different line ends with a rhyming phrase.

The Rape of Lucrece 

Her lily hand her rosy cheek lies underneath,
Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss;
Who, due to this fact indignant, appears to half in sunder …

This poem is one in every of Shakespeare’s earliest works. It’s a tragic narrative poem full of metaphors and imagery. The poem facilities on Lucretia, a heroine of Historic Rome. It tells the story of a horrible factor that occurred to her by the hands of Tarquin, together with the way it occurred and, lastly, the tragic ending.

The Phoenix and the Turtle

Printable poem called The Phoenix and the Turtle by William Shakespeare on teal background.
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Let the chook of loudest lay
On the only real Arabian tree
Herald unhappy and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.

This allegorical poem facilities on the love between two birds, on this case the legendary Phoenix and a turtledove. The poem describes their dying earlier than continuing to speak about the way in which through which their love unites them into one being whereas sustaining their individuality. The ultimate part of the poem describes the way in which through which cause fails to know how two can develop into one. The thought of real love transcending worldly cause was a standard theme through the Renaissance.

Sonnet 138

When my love swears that she is fabricated from reality,
I do imagine her, although I do know she lies,
That she would possibly assume me some untutored youth,
Unlearnèd on the planet’s false subtleties.

The theme of this poem is truthfulness, because it facilities round a relationship between two lovers who lie to one another regularly. It begins with a paradox because the speaker says within the opening two strains that whereas his love “swears that she is fabricated from reality,” he each believes her and is aware of she lies. Fairly than taking solace of their love, the speaker and his lover, as a substitute, take consolation within the lies they inform one another.

Sonnet 19

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her personal candy brood;
Pluck the eager tooth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-liv’d Phoenix in her blood …

As with different Shakespeare poems, this one explores the methods through which poetry can show everlasting, transcending time. Shakespeare makes use of animal imagery all through to focus on the pure results of time and getting older. He ends the poem asserting that his love shall stay eternally younger via his verse.

Sonnet 106

When within the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And sweetness making lovely previous rhyme …

This sonnet is a part of the collection of Shakespeare poems often called the Honest Youth sequence. This one, just like the others within the collection, is addressed to a younger man. In it, Shakespeare travels via antiquity, the place poets and others have tried to seize immeasurable magnificence. He involves the conclusion that the younger man on the heart of the sonnet possesses simply that sort of magnificence that’s due to this fact everlasting.

Sonnet 55

Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this highly effective rhyme …

As with so many different poems on our listing, Shakespeare makes use of this sonnet to discover the themes of time and immortality. Whereas worldly issues like statues will finally crumble and go away, the poem will maintain the reminiscence of his lover alive eternally.

Sonnet 20

A girl’s face with nature’s personal hand painted
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my ardour;
A girl’s light coronary heart, however not acquainted
With shifting change as is fake ladies’s vogue …

That is one other sonnet addressed to a younger man who’s seemingly in an intimate relationship with the speaker. The theme of the poem is magnificence and love with female and male traits described vividly and contrasted with one another. The poet means that the younger man was initially meant to be a lady however nature determined to create him as a person.

Sonnet 65

Printable poem called Sonnet 65 by William Shakespeare on teal background.
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Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
However unhappy mortality o’er-sways their energy,
How with this rage shall magnificence maintain a plea,
Whose motion isn’t any stronger than a flower?

That is one other poem that options themes of time and getting older, magnificence, and the flexibility of poetry to transcend time and develop into immortal. All through the poem, the speaker lists all of the earthly issues that can inevitably be destroyed by time regardless of their energy. He concludes that the love inside his poetry can survive and “nonetheless shine brilliant.”

Sonnet 1

From fairest creatures we need improve,
That thereby magnificence’s rose would possibly by no means die,
However because the riper ought to by time decease,
His tender inheritor would possibly bear his reminiscence. …

That is the primary of Shakespeare’s sonnets and, like so many others, it offers with the theme of the passing of time and is addressed to a younger man. It additionally makes use of pastoral language and descriptions to explain the great thing about the younger man. The poem begins speaking about the great thing about a rose by no means dying however ends talking concerning the grave.

Sonnet 129

A bliss in proof and proved, a really woe;
Earlier than, a pleasure proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world nicely is aware of; but none is aware of nicely
To shun the heaven that leads males to this hell.

This poem offers with themes of lust, pleasure, and disgrace. In it, the speaker says that whereas giving in to lust may be pleasurable, it is going to show shameful. He says, “Loved no sooner however despised straight.” He reiterates this level within the ultimate line of the poem saying, “To shun the heaven that leads males to this hell.”

Sonnet 95

How candy and wonderful dost thou make the disgrace
Which, like a canker within the aromatic rose,
Doth spot the great thing about thy budding title!

That is one other Shakespeare poem that’s a part of the Honest Youth sequence. As he typically does, Shakespeare likens the great thing about the younger man on the heart of the poem to a flower. The speaker says that the youth’s magnificence is so profound that it obscures a darker corrupt facet.

Tune: Concern No Extra the Warmth o’ the Solar

Concern no extra the warmth o’ the solar,
Nor the livid winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly activity hast performed,
Dwelling artwork gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and women all should,
As chimney-sweepers, come to mud.

This verse is taken from Shakespeare’s play Cymbeline, the place it’s sung over the supposedly lifeless our bodies of the characters Cloten and Fidele. The tune/poem is about dying and places forth that you simply not have to concern the dangerous issues in life as soon as you’re lifeless.

Tune: Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou artwork not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth isn’t so eager,
As a result of thou artwork not seen …

Just like the poem “All of the World’s a Stage,” this tune seems in Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. The character of Amiens sings the tune, which focuses on human flaws, particularly ingratitude. He compares completely different harsh parts of nature, equivalent to winter wind, to ungratefulness. The tune ends with a paradox for the reason that ultimate line sung is “this life is most jolly,” which contrasts sharply with the general damaging tone of the tune.

A Fairy Tune

Printable poem called A Fairy Song by William Shakespeare on teal background.
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I do wander in every single place,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the inexperienced …

This tune is from one in every of Shakespeare’s most beloved performs, A Midsummer Night time’s Dream. The tune describes the work of a fairy who’s persisting regardless of troublesome circumstances like floods and fireplace. The fairy on the heart of the poem works for the Fairy Queen Titania. As with different Shakespeare poems, he makes use of personification, describing flowers with human traits like freckles.

Sonnet 103

Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth,
That having such a scope to point out her pleasure,
The argument all naked is of extra price
Than when it hath my added reward beside!

On this sonnet, which is once more addressed to the youth, the speaker laments that it doesn’t matter what he writes, it is going to all the time pale compared to his muse. This sentiment is definitely in distinction to a lot of his different sonnets the place he claims that his writing is ready to transcend time to attain immortality and protect the great thing about the youth.  

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Collage of printable William Shakespeare poems
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Love these Shakespeare poems? Take a look at these fashionable Edgar Allan Poe Poems too.

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