Play Sonnet 83

I never saw that you did painting need,
And therefore to your fair no painting set;
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed
The barren tender of a poet’s debt:
And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself, being extant, well might show
How far a modern quill doth come too short,
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
This silence for my sin you did impute,
Which shall be most my glory being dumb;
For I impair not beauty being mute,
When others would give life, and bring a tomb.
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
Than both your poets can in praise devise.



Sonnet 83 tells its subject they are in no need of painting, either of their face or in art, as everything, including words, pales in comparison to their beauty.

Will’s beloved does not need to be described nor require any makeup, but naturally exceeds what can be written about him. So Will has given up attempting to express the youth’s worth, because the reality would show only the weakness of his poetic skill. The young man has objected to Will’s silence, which he says cannot do any harm to the boy’s beauty. Will concludes that the reality of the youth’s beauty is much greater than either he or any other poet could express.


Will’s Wordplay

“Painting” has dual meaning. It references use of cosmetics, unnecessary here as the beloved is flawless; and since he is so perfect, Shakespeare decided not to try and “paint” him with words.


Carnegie Histry Center, Bryan, TX


ACTOR – Sarah Nedwek

Sarah is an actress, producer and founder of the non-profit, Partly Cloudy People. She recently performed her solo comedy, “The Immaculate Deception” at The People’s Improv Theatre SOLOCOM and will next appear in Laura Moss’s indie short, Fry Day in Austin’s SXSW film festival. Other favorite credits include Vanda in Venus and Fur, Oven in Lizzie Vieh’s Limbo, as part of The Seedling Project and performing with NYSX ShakesBEER.


DIRECTOR – Donny Hall