Shakespeares Sonnets

Paperback | October 12, 2004

byPaul Edmondson, Stanley Wells

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The sonnets are among the most accomplished and fascinating poems in the English language. They are central to an understanding of Shakespeare's work as a poet and poetic dramatist, and while their autobiographical relevance is uncertain, no account of Shakespeare's life can afford to ignorethem. So many myths and superstitions have arisen around these poems, relating for example to their possible addressees, to their coherence as a sequence, to their dates of composition, to their relation to other poetry of the period and to Shakespeare's plays, that even the most naive reader willfind it difficult to read them with an innocent mind. Shakespeare's Sonnets dispels the myths and focuses on the poems. Considering different possible ways of reading the Sonnets, Wells and Edmondson place them in a variety of literary and dramatic contexts - in relation to other poetry of theperiod, to Shakespeare's plays, as poems for performance, and in relation to their reception and reputation. Selected sonnets are discussed in depth, but the book avoids the jargon of theoretical criticism. Shakespeare's Sonnets is an exciting contribution to the Oxford Shakespeare Topics, ideal forstudents and the general reader interested in these intriguing poems.

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From the Publisher

The sonnets are among the most accomplished and fascinating poems in the English language. They are central to an understanding of Shakespeare's work as a poet and poetic dramatist, and while their autobiographical relevance is uncertain, no account of Shakespeare's life can afford to ignorethem. So many myths and superstitions have ar...

Stanley Wells is Chairman and Paul Edmondson is Head of Education, both of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.99 × 5.31 × 0.46 inPublished:October 12, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019925611X

ISBN - 13:9780199256112

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Early Publication of the Sonnets3. History and Emergence of the Sonnet as a Literary Form4. The Sonnets in Relation to Shakespeare's Life5. The Form of Shakespeare's Sonnets6. The Artistry of the Sonnets7. Content of the Sonnets8. The Sonnets as Theatre9. The Place of 'A Lover's Complaint'10. Later Publication of the Sonnets11. Critical Reputation of the Sonnets12. Ways in which Writers have Engaged Creatively with the Sonnets13. Survey of More Recent Current Sonnet Criticism Treated Thematically14. Sonnets and Performance15. Conclusion16. Further Reading

Editorial Reviews

`elegant...This book is excellent on links between theatre and sonnets...The book is also a consideration, even a celebration, of what, precisely, makes Shakespeare's verse so compelling.'TLS