The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Image of The Sonnets

Shakespeare's sonnets, or simply The Sonnets, is a collection of poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare that deal with such themes as time, love, beauty and mutability. They were probably written over a period of several years. All 154 poems appeared in a 1609 collection, entitled SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS, comprising 152 previously unpublished sonnets and two (numbers 138 and 144) that had previously been published in a 1599 miscellany entitled The Passionate Pilgrim. The Sonnets were published under conditions that have become unclear to history. Although the works were written by Shakespeare, it is not known if the publisher, believed to be Thomas Thorpe, used an authorized manuscript from him, or an unauthorized copy. Also, there is a mysterious dedication at the beginning of the text wherein a certain "Mr. W.H." is described by the publisher as "the onlie begetter" of the poems, but it is not known who this man was. In addition, several aspects of The Sonnets have been noted in the ongoing Shakespeare authorship question.

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