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Shakespeare's Sonnets Paperback – October 23, 2013

201 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1466256934 ISBN-10: 1466256931

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Shakespeare is again the hottest ticket in town: he has been voted the person of the millennium in Great Britain, while an Oscar-nominated film about his love life is burning up box offices. Along with being the world's greatest playwright, his unparalleled genius for rhyme and meter make him also one of the greatest poets, evidenced by the 154 sonnets he penned throughout his life. This beautiful hardcover offers them all, with illustrations and an index of first lines. A real top-shelf edition.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"...an excelent choice..." -- Audiofile --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466256931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466256934
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on April 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
The Dover Thrift Edition of the Complete Sonnets is exactly that: the complete sonnets, and nothing more. Though often scorned by literary snobs, the entire Dover series does fulfill one very useful function: it provides cheap, easy-to-read, and widely-available versions of literary classics. What you get, in this case, are all of Shakespeare's sonnets (undisputably some of the greatest poems ever written and a true treasure of English literature; obviously, a review of any edition of these poems will inevitably focus not upon the work itself, which is beyond repute, but, rather, on the individual edition as presented) -- and nothing else. Much more expansive (and expensive) versions are available, featuring an introduction to the sonnets with background information, notes and annotations, a handy list of definitions for archaic and obscure Elizabethian words -- and, more than likely, at least one pretentious individual interpretation of the work. Obviously, if one is looking to study Shakespeare, really go in-depth into the sonnets for scholarly or academic purposes, then one should look into one of the editions just described. If you just want a copy of the sonnets without desiring to spend too much money, you don't need or don't want all of those extras, or you simply want to impress incredulous people by owning a set of Shakespeare's sonnets, however, then you could do worse than picking up this inexpensive little book.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mary Jane Chaffee on February 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
A colleague advised that I assign my college students this edition, and I am glad she did. Rather than reading the few anthologized works together with some handouts, students now own the entire set. For anyone not familiar with Shakespeare's 154 sonnets, this gives an affordable and portable version. For anyone familiar with the works, this book offers them in a beautifully light, compressed format that itself enhances rereading and re-interpretation. The book begins with a helpful one-page background on the sonnet form and on Shakespeare's collection, and ends with an also-helpful alphabetical list of first lines. The two-page glossary of terms at the end may be too little, too late, but the drawbacks of Dover's edition--its lack of notes and its use of roman numerals to number the poems--pale compared with the book's availability. As an enthusiast myself--someone who studied at the Shakespeare Institute, England, writing a 310-page thesis on the Bard--I feel grateful to be able to help others to such an inexpensive and pleasant way to own and explore Shakespeare's entire collection of sonnets. Because I could skim the poems in sequence so quickly and easily with this edition, the interrelationships among Sonnets 113, 114, 115, and the famous 116, "Let me not to the marriage of true minds," for example, struck me in a new way as I reread them in this little book. A highly- recommended edition.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Patrick J. Southam on September 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Shakespeare, his poetry as well as his plays. The poetry here is excellent. I deduct one star from this review, because on the kindle version, the default type size setting puts about 8 sentences per page, and each sentence runs to 2 lines. Thus, you don't see the entire poem on a single page, with each sentence in a single line as you would in a nice paper book. Maybe that is nit-picky to some folks.

That being said, I greatly appreciate Kindle, and the wide variety of classic literature available for little cost. Thank you to all who are making these things available for e-readers.
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