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Sonnets of William Shakespeare -

By William Shakespeare

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“Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate…” So begins Sonnet 18, one of the best known of this collection of 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare. Collectively, these poems deal with such themes as love, mortality, passion, and beauty. The Sonnets were first published in 1609 and include some of the best known love poems ever written. The collection can be divided into three sections. The Fair Youth Sequence is comprised of Sonnets 1-126. These poems were written to an unnamed young man. Sonnets 127-152 may be described as the Dark Lady sequence. These poems were written for the poet’s mistress and tell the story of his love for her. The final two sonnets tell an allegorical story involving Cupid, the Roman god of love. This work is a part of the Lit2Go collection, a collaboration between the Florida Department of Education and the University of South Florida College of Education. Lit2Go is dedicated to supporting literacy teaching and learning by providing access to historically and culturally significant literature in K-12 schools.

Customer Reviews


Shakespere should be on everyone's reading list. I'll admit I didn't get into his work when I was forced to read it for High School English class, but I have become a fan since then. His work is timeless and should be a must read for anyone who claims to love literature.

Who picked the readers?

The readers have an ernest tone and careful enunciation, but they've not the ear for the music and the rhythm in the poetry. One reads too fast and some syllables are lost; one reads too mechanically, etc. The sonnets need professional readers, if listening is not to be a chore.

Readers are mechanical, reflect no sense of the poetry

The readers of the sonnets in this compilation are uniformly awful. They ignore punctuation, pause when they shouldn't, mispronounce words ('doth'), rush through the poetry as if they were on a deadline, and reflect no understanding of the text at all. The readings destroy the beauty, meaning and complexity of Shakespeare's words. While it is a great idea to compile a recording of all the sonnets, one must give them their due by hiring readers who, at minimum, understand and respect Shakespeare's texts.