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The Sonnets

Discover more about Shakespeare's sonnets with our overviews and study guides. You can also read his sonnets here and discover the Bard's poetry first hand.
  1. Study Guides (11)
  2. The Dark Lady Sonnets (2)
  3. The Fair Youth Sonnets (63)

The Sonnets
Discover more about the sonnets by Shakespeare with our overviews and study guides. You can also read his sonnets here and discover the Bard's poetry first hand.

What is a Sonnet?
The sonnet is a poem written in a strict poetic form that was very popular during Shakespeare's lifetime. Here we identify the characteristics of a sonnet.

Sonnet Summary
Shakespeare's sequence of 154 sonnets revolves around the poet's relationship with his two muses - a young man with whom he is infatuated, and then later, a "dark" woman. This sonnet summary reveals how the poems interlink.

Shakespearean Sonnet
The Shakespearian Sonnet has had a long and confusing history. We ask to whom they were dedicated, how they have been misprinted over the years, and question whether Shakespeare even wanted them published in the first place?

Sonnet 18 - Study Guide
In our Study Guide to Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?, you'll find everything you need to understand this classic sonnet.

Introducing Shakespeare's Sonnets
A detailed introduction to the sonnets, including an overview of their narrative structure, from Dr. Michael Delahoyde at Washington State University.

Are Shakespeare's Sonnets Biographical?
This article from The Cambridge History of English and American Literature asks if we should read Shakespeare's sonnets as biographical accounts or works of fiction.

Reading Sexuality in the Sonnets
How do Shakespeare's sonnets fit into the history of sexuality? As this book chapter highlights, successive generations have interpreted sexuality through the ideas and prejudices of their own time.

Read the Sonnets
Read the sonnets from a page-by-page facsimile of the original 1609 quarto edition.

Compare Sonnets
Use this tool to view multiple sonnets at the same time or compare sonnets side-by-side.

Sonnett
Sonnett is a common misspelling of "sonnet", a strict poetic form used by William Shakespeare.

Sonnet Summary
Shakespeare’s sequence of 154 sonnets should be read together because they interlock and create a narrative. The story revolves around the poet’s relationship with his two muses – a young man with whom he is infatuated, and then later, a “dark” woman. The muses are used to break down the sonnets into three sequences, as follows:

Shakespeare Sonnets
The Shakespeare sonnets are considered by many to be the most romantic poems ever written. We pick out the top 5 Shakespeare sonnets to get you into a romantic mood.

Shakespeare Sonnets
Introducing the Shakespeare sonnets – what makes this collection of 154 Shakespeare sonnets the most important poetry ever written? Find out with our Shakespeare sonnets guide.

Sonnets by Shakespeare
A full index of all 154 sonnets by Shakespeare. Read Sonnets by Shakespeare online with About.com.

Popular Sonnets by William Shakespeare
We bring you the complete texts of the three most popular sonnets by William Shakespeare together with commentary on what makes them such popular sonnets.

Sonnet Examples
Looking for Shakespeare sonnet examples? We bring you a collection of Shakespeare’s most renowned sonnets as examples.

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