Poems and Sonnets of William Shakespeare (Google eBook)

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Cosimo, Inc., Sep 1, 2007 - Poetry - 296 pages
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He is the greatest writer in the English language-perhaps in any language-and here, in one compact volume is all the verse even many of those familiar with his plays have never read. In 1593 and 1594, while English theaters were closed in response to the plague, WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616) turned from drama to narrative poems, and published the dyad "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece," erotic meditations on lust and sexual power. Standing powerfully in opposition to each other, they also differ wildly from Shakespeare's romantic sonnets-all 154 of them are here. Also in this hard-to-find collection are the Bard's lesser known poems: "A Lover's Complaint," "The Passionate Pilgrim," "Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music," and "The Phoenix and the Turtle." Rounding out the collection are poems from his plays, featuring beloved excerpts from The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Twelfth Night, Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Love's Labour's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, and others. Not an academic work, this lovely volume lets Shakespeare's words stand on their own, resounding-as ever they do-with their own unique power and beauty.
  

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Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
3
Section 3
49
Section 4
51
Section 5
119
Section 6
120
Section 7
124
Section 8
137
Section 13
219
Section 14
225
Section 15
235
Section 16
241
Section 17
246
Section 18
249
Section 19
255
Section 20
256

Section 9
162
Section 10
173
Section 11
203
Section 12
217
Section 21
267
Section 22
270
Section 23
287
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About the author (2007)

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.

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