The following essay is going to explain why in my opinion our teacher wants us to study Shakespeare.
I think it may make us learn and reflect on the difference between the Italian XVI century way to see love and the English one.
Shakespeare addressed his sonnets to a fair youth (probably his patron) , a dark lady and to a rival poet. It goes without saying that he addressed sonnets to real people. English poetry was inspired by the Petrarchian Canzoniere.
Petrarca addressed his "canzoniere" to an ideal woman, so an unreal person, a poetical fiction.
An other difference is that while Dolce Stilnovo's poets exalted woman's beauty, Shakespeare exalted man's beauty.
Also the layout is different, Italian sonnets are made up of two quatrains and two tercests; English sonnets are made up of three quatrains and a rhyming couplet.