Cover image for Shakespeare's Sonnets
Title:
Shakespeare's Sonnets
Author:
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, 1980.
Physical Description:
xx, 583 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"The text of the 1609 quarto (Apsley imprint, the Huntington-Bridgewater copy) and an edited text printed in parallel": p. [1]-[133]

Includes indexes.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780300019599
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
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PR2848.A2 B6 1980 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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PR2848.A2 B6 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

Folger Shakespeare Library The world's leading center for Shakespeare studies - Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on the page facing each sonnet - A brief introduction to each sonnet, providing insight into its possible meaning - An index of first lines - An essay by Professor Lynne Magnusson, a leading Shakespeare scholar, providing a modern perspective on the poems - Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs.


Author Notes

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School.

At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry.

By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true.

Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Since we will never hear tapes of Keats or Shakespeare reading, and several recordings by actors exist (e.g., John Keats: Selected Poems, Blackstone Audio, 1993; Sonnets by William Shakespeare, Recorded Bks., 1990), we must judge these tapes by the actors' performances. In John Keats: Poems, Douglas Dodge modulates his voice beautifully to capture the slightly varied emotions of many poems. This well-edited recording contains Keats's most famous works: "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," "The Eve of St. Agnes," "Ode to a Nightingale," "On a Grecian Urn," along with many lesser-known short poems such as "To Mrs. Reynolds' Cat" that exhibit the poet's more fanciful side. Reading all of Shakespeare's sonnets written between 1593 and 1601, actor Simon Callow conveys the dramatic potential not often recognizable in other recordings. With the exception of a few sonnets addressing the muse, anyone unfamiliar with Shakespeare's works could easily believe these were selected monologs from various plays. Pausing briefly between poems, Callow's tone shifts enough to create new characterizations for every sonnet. Both tapes are recommended for smaller collections and essential for larger ones.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.