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Complete Sonnets (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – January 1, 1991
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From the Back Cover
Without a doubt the most important of Shakespeare's nondramatic works, the sonnets have engendered reams of scholarly disputation as to the identity of "the dark lady" and the "lovely boy" to whom the vast majority are addressed. Controversy has also long simmered over the full name of the "W.H." of the dedication. What is not in dispute is the superior quality of these lyrics, which rank among the finest sonnets ever written—in any language.
Overt 150 poems deal with love, friendship, the tyranny of time, beauty's evanescence in power, death, and other themes in language unsurpassed in power, precision, and beauty. Now this inexpensive Dover edition enables any lover of poetry or fine literature to have this exquisite verse in his or her personal library. A brief glossary illuminates a number of archaic terms.
About the Author
"He was not of an age, but for all time," declared Ben Jonson of his contemporary William Shakespeare (1564–1616). Jonson's praise is especially prescient, since at the turn of the 17th century Shakespeare was but one of many popular London playwrights and none of his dramas were printed in his lifetime. The reason so many of his works survive is because two of his actor friends, with the assistance of Jonson, assembled and published the First Folio edition of 1623.
Top Customer Reviews
Finally I spent another buck to get an (almost as inexpensive) edition (used) - the Signet edition edited by Burto. That helped a lot - with definitions of terms and hints about lots of secret relationships possibly there for those who would dig further. At last I'm starting to figure out why this guy is considered so awesome. To really get an appreciation of Shake's heart and mind, beginners like me really need more than just the poems.
Now I'm borrowing an English major's copy of Dr. Vendler's edition (Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets). It's pretty heady, so I'm just trying to read her introduction. Whew! I haven't tested out all her theories, but is so much incredible care and complexity going on behind the scenes in these poems - it's no wonder people are still boggled after 400 years.
Truly amazing - but unless you're an English major I wouldn't recommend bothering with this doubtful dollar deed. Getting a copy of the Signet or Folger Library editions will make beginners much happier.
Of course, if you are wondering what they mean, and all that, you will have to get yourself familiar with Rowse's edition of the sonnets: A. L. Rowse: Shakespeare's Sonnets.
But once you know who the principal characters are -- Henry Wriothesley, the young Earl of Southampton, Christopher Marlowe, and Emilia Lanier -- plus young Will Shakespeare himself -- then the Dover will do fine for you and yours.
After all, this is exactly the book you could have bought on its first day of publication, four centuries ago!! :-)
Listen to them at night or on a rainy day, or just follow along with a hardcopy of the Sonnets in your hand. You'll be reciting them in short order.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There's no usable table of contents or index with page numbers of individual sonnets.Published 2 months ago by Codman
I love this book. All I wanted was Shakespeare's complete sonnets, with no frills. That's what this is, with beautiful illustrations. Read morePublished 5 months ago by wendaroolie
A good buy but the reader is a little over the top. No notes or explanations of tricky Elizabethan terms.Published 5 months ago by F. W. Herman
never arrived, what a rip off... I have never got a confirmation email. I totally forgot I bought this book if it wasn't because I came to do my reviews I would have never... Read morePublished 7 months ago by miki Mk
The content is the content, I'm not nearly versed well enough in literature to comment on it. But the book itself is beautifulPublished 7 months ago by Curtis Xu