Play Sonnet 82

I grant thou wert not married to my Muse,
And therefore mayst without attaint o’erlook
The dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair subject, blessing every book.
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise;
And therefore art enforced to seek anew
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days.
And do so, love; yet when they have devised,
What strained touches rhetoric can lend,
Thou truly fair, wert truly sympathized
In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend;
     And their gross painting might be better used
     Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abused.



Sonnet 82 critiques the words of other poets as overblown and false.

Since the youth is not married to the Muse that Will invokes, the youth can honorably respond to other poets’ muses without anyone considering it an infidelity. The youth is as knowledgeable as he is beautiful, and is smart enough to see that Will’s work alone is not enough to praise him. Of course he must to look for some newer, fresher writer who uses hipper more modern styles. But Will warns that the youth shouldn’t be too attracted to flashy and unrealistic rhetoric. Will prefers a simple truthfulness, one that more accurately represents and celebrates the youth’s true beauty. Other poets don’t realize that inflated rhetoric exists only to enhance a sickly and less inspiring figure.


Will’s Wordplay

Rhetoric is the big buzzword for this sonnet. It is the art (or science) of making speeches, and was a major component of education in ancient times that still held a lofty place in learning during the Renaissance. Nevertheless, it tended to attract some scorn, considered the art that enabled dullards to sound clever and allowed the unscrupulous to attain power. In the words of the Greek,s it made the lesser truth seem the greater, and was especially prone to abuse in the courts.


The Strand Bookstore, Manhattan

All 18 Miles of Books! The Strand Bookstore is an independent bookstore located at 828 Broadway, at the corner of East 12th Street in the East Village, two blocks south of Union Square.



The Strand was opened by Benjamin Bass in 1927 on nearby Fourth Avenue, in what was known as “Book Row”, which was established as early as 1890, and which had at the time 48 bookstores.[1] Bass’s son Fred took over the business in 1956 and soon moved the store to the present location at the corner of East 12th Street and Broadway. Fred’s daughter Nancy is co-owner of the store, and is also married to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. The store occupies three and a half floors, using half a floor for offices and one additional floor as warehouse space. As of December 2011, the store had 2.5 million books.

The Strand is a family-owned business with more than 240 employees. Many Lower East Side artists have worked at the store, including Patti Smith – who claimed not to have liked the experience because it “wasn’t very friendly”[2] – and Tom Verlaine, who was fond of the discount book carts sitting outside the store.

The Strand has had a unionized workforce for over 35 years.[3] On April 5, 2012, unionized workers at the store rejected a new contract. Further talks were planned between the two parties.[4] On June 15, 2012, workers ratified a new contract with the store. [5]


In Popular Culture

-The Strand has been featured in films such as Julie & Julia and Remember Me, starring Robert Pattinson, who played a Strand employee.
-The band Steely Dan “name-checks” the Strand in their song “What A Shame About Me” from the album Two Against Nature.
-Joyce Carol Oates’ short story, “Three Girls”, takes place at the Strand.
-The Strand was referenced on “Gilmore girls” in Season 4, Episode 1, when Rory and Lorelai discuss a daytrip to NYC, before Rory starts college.
-The Strand was a backdrop for part of the story Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.
-In “Six Degrees Of Seperation” the Kittredge’s go to the Strand book store to find a biography on Sidney Poiter. The scene was shot in the location the picture on the left shows.



1. “Strand History” on the Strand Bookstore website
2. “Patti Smith Discusses Her Influences” New York Magazine (November 27, 2005)
3. “At the Strand Bookstore, a Retail Labor Struggle in the Age of Amazon and Occupy” WNET, March 16, 2012
4. Samuelson, Tracey. “Strand Bookstore Workers Reject Contract” WNYC blog (April 5, 2012)
5. Krauthamer, Diane. “In New York Bookstore Contract Fight, Occupy Helped Workers Draw Energy, Media Spotlight ” Truthout (July 18, 2012)


ACTOR – Brian Cheng

NY Theatre: The Awesome 80’s Prom (Off Broadway), You for Me for You (Ma-Yi), Island: or, To Be or Not to Be and Pericles (New York Shakespeare Exchange), Valhalla (Project Rushmore),Around The World in 80 Days (Gotham Radio Theatre), B*tch (The Theatre Project and Theatre for the New City), The School For Husbands (New York Classical Theatre), The Goonies: The Musical (RASH! Theatre Co.). Tours: Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Max and Ruby(TheatreworksUSA). Film/TV:Backwards, Let’s Make A Movie, The All For Nots (HDNet), Seeking. Training: Stella Adler, BFA Acting, New York University.


DIRECTOR – Alex Megaro

When Alex was 8 years old, his father showed him Alien on Valentine’s Day so he could see a movie “with red in it.” Now he’s a filmmaker. He works on a freelance basis as a director, editor, writer, and producer. He recently directed the award-winning short A Pious Man, as well as produced and edited the feature film Driftwood.


DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY – Filippo Burbano Fantastichini

Filippo works as a cinematographer in New York City, having previously worked for many years in Ecuador and Italy. He was recently the DP on the short film A Pious Man, the feature documentary Yakuaya, as well as multiple commercials and music videos.