Shakespeare's sonnets are the most famous collection of love poems in the English language. Here Shakespeare celebrated his passionate friendship with a young man, deplored his friend's seduction by Shakespeare's own mistress, expressed his chagrin at the friend's relationship with a rival poet, and in the final group of poems explored his own humiliated infatuation with "a woman colored ill"--the Dark Lady who has tempted his "better angel" from him.
Lyrically beautiful and psychologically fascinating, the sonnets exert a double appeal: as individual poems, and as a complexly interrelated sequence. All 154 poems are presented here in a freshly edited text, along with Shakespeare's wry, touching portrait of a forsaken maiden in A Lover's Complaint, a poem first printed with the sonnets in 1609. This volume also includes little-known alternative versions of four of the sonnets.
The text of this edition is that prepared for the forthcoming Complete Oxford Shakespeare.
About the Editor:
Stanley Wells is General Editor of the Oxford Shakespeare and Senior Research Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford.