Shakespeare expresses three major metaphors in this sonnet.
Shakespeare wrote hundreds of pieces, from sonnets to plays.
In the 16th century the sonnet form was widely used by Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, and others. Changes to the sonnet made by Spenser resulted in a third category of sonnet named after him; the Spenserian sonnet. This form never gained the popularity of the Shakespearean and Petrarchan forms. John Milton, writing in the 17th century, followed Spenser, Shakespeare and Donne and was an important figure in the history of the sonnet, although few other poets were writing sonnets during his life. Milton, best known for having written the epic poem is considered by some to be one of the greatest poets of the English language. After Milton, the form became almost extinct. Historians call our attention only to a single sonnet written by Thomas Gray, "On the Death of Mr. Richard West".
1. Questions for Shakespearean sonnets:
It took several hundred years for the sonnet to take hold in England. Two young poets are credited with bringing the form to England after studying and traveling in Italy in the mid 1500's: Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. They each published very fine sonnets, and the form began to gain popularity. Wyatt's sonnet, "Whoso to hunt," is often considered to be one of the best. Both Wyatt and Surrey changed the Italian form and the result was what is now called the Shakespearean sonnet.