Many classically trained actors loathe sonnet work: Too rigid, not enough characterization, too self-encapsulated. Useful only as a tool to help understand the verse and structure. They're more than that. Understanding the language to the appropriate degree when reciting Shakespearean Sonnets is a fantastic way to keep the verse alive for an audience. Also, understanding that Sonnets really are, at their heart, miniature plays, each one telling a story with a specific story arc, the speaker having an intention to relate. Sonnet work aids in making what can at first seem like a very rigid "poem" to become very personal, and help identify its true meaning.
My assigned piece was Sonnet 70:
That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
For slander’s mark was ever yet the fair;
The ornament of beauty is suspéct,
A crow that flies in heaven’s sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander doth but approve
Thy worth the greater, being wooed of time;
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,
And thou present’st a pure unstainèd prime.
Thou hast passed by the ambush of young days,
Either not assailed, or victor being charged;
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
To tie up envy evermore enlarged.
If some suspéct of ill masked not thy show,
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.
What I intended from my interpretation was the statement that no matter how good a "beautiful" person is(not necessarily physically beautiful, but also beautiful in one's soul) he will always be envied by those with smaller minds, especially when you're not necessarily young anymore. I'm sure that this sentiment had applied to our good friend Will, who had his detractors throughout his life, and the subject of his sonnet most likely also had hers (or his).