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Shakespeare's Sonnets (Arden Shakespeare) Paperback – June 22, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Arden Shakespeare
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare; 3 edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408017970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408017975
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This must now be the edition of first resort."—Paul Hammond, Review of English Studies 

About the Author

Katherine Duncan Jones is a Senior Research Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, UK.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
William Shakespeare is best known as a playwright. When you think of Shakespeare, you automatically think of plays -- "Romeo and Juliet," "Macbeth," "Hamlet," etc.

But he was also a poet of considerable skill. And while he sprinkled his various plays with poetry and songs, his poems are best appreciated when they're read all by themselves -- particularly the cluster of brilliant "Sonnets" that he penned. These works just have a unique, hauntingly vivid flavour of their own.

Each sonnet has no title, and is simply identified by numbers. And while Shakespeare's love poems are the best known of these works, he addresses different themes in theme -- old age, writer's block loneliness, the cruelty of the world, sex, beauty, a mysterious rival poet, and Shakespeare's own complicated romantic feelings (love that "looks upon tempests and is not shaken").

And these poems are absolutely lovely. Some of these sonnets are pretty well-known ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?/Thou art more lovely and more temperate") but most of them are a little more obscure. They have vivid metaphors and imagery ("let not winter's ragged hand deface," "gold candles fix'd in heaven's air") and hauntingly lovely passages ("What is your substance, whereof are you made,/That millions of strange shadows on you tend?").

And these sonnets really give you new insights into Shakespeare as a person -- he feels uncertainty, passionate love, unhappiness, lust and quirky humor. But while it's obvious these sonnets were deeply personal, they can still be appreciated on their own, particularly as love poetry.

William Shakespeare's "Sonnets" are rich with meaning, language and atmosphere -- the Elizabethan English takes a little deciphering, but it's well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Belson on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovely as a summer's day...oh yes. Every woman must own this book. It says exactly what no living man seems to. Yet Will is like silk, he's so good at it.
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The sonnets are annotated with grace, precision and completeness here. Virtually every puzzle (or potential quibble) is commented upon in the rich notes facing each sonnet, and if there are ambiguities, they are allowed to flourish, rather than being settled. So there's plenty left for the reader to do, deciding which way to tilt the reading, and great enjoyment to be had. Smart, comprehensive, and readable (though it's true that to speak of its being readable in the most literal sense requires me to squint while reading the notes in anything but bright light). This is the indispensable collection of Shakespeare's Sonnets for a reader interested in savoring their incredible richness.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Unicitu on June 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Arden series are the perfect editions to accompanie someone through Shakespeare works, it gives you a wide image of historical context, cultural context and also the different theories about Shakespeare criticism, plus it also has a simple way to read each page with notes in the side.
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More About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King's New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers." Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later under James I, called the King's Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain's Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare's plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

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