We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Analysis: Calling Card

Wit, Bitterness, Lots of Ideas, Sonnet Form

As with many of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Sonnet 137 reveals a deep-seated anger and bitterness at the failure of love. And yet, like all of Shakespeare’s sonnets, this bitterness doesn’t stop the poet’s mind from working. In fact, it tends to act as more of a stimulus for greater creativity. This comes out in the sheer wit of the poem, which delights in using multiple meanings of words, sometimes hiding obscene double-entendres just underneath the surface. Related to this wit aspect is the sheer number of ideas that get crammed into the poem, as the scene shifts from the speaker talking to the god of Love, to a harbor full of ships, to some plots of land, to the legal lingo of the poem’s conclusion. And, of course, you’ve also got the masterful use of the sonnet form, a Shakespearean trademark so… Shakespearean that they named the form after him.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...