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The Sonnets and A Lover's Complaint

William Shakespeare - Author

John Kerrigan - Editor/introduction

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ISBN 9780140436846 | 464 pages | 01 Jan 2000 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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An elaborately annotated edition of Shakespeare's masterpieces of wit and erotic word-play.

When a volume of poetry entitled Shakespeares Sonnets. Never before Imprinted appeared in 1609, Shakespeare was forty-five and most of his greatest plays had seen several performances. Some of the sonnets, speaking of the begetting of children, mortality and memory, art, desire and jealousy, are addressed to a beloved youth; others are addressed to a treacherous mistress, a "dark lady." Appended to the sonnets is "A Lover's Complaint," a beautiful poem in rhyme-royal in which a young woman is overheard lamenting her betrayal by a heartless seducer.

While Shakespeare's biographers continue their investigations, readers may find the "secret" of the sonnets in the poetry itself. In this spirit John Kerrigan provides an illuminating Introduction to the volume as a whole, together with 258 pages of commentaries on the poems, a textual history, and suggestions for further reading.

Edited with an Introduction by John Kerrigan.

‘A man’s life of any worth is a continual allegory, and very few eyes can see the Mystery of his life … Shakespeare led a life of allegory: his works are the comments on it’ - John Keats