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How many poems did William Shakespeare write?

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quettie16 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 10, 2009 at 12:50 AM via web

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How many poems did William Shakespeare write?

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englishteacher72 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:31 AM (Answer #1)

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While William Shakespeare is better known as the greatest playwright that ever lived, he also wrote many sonnets.  In total, he wrote thirty-seven plays, 154 sonnets, and five long narrative poems, including "Venus and Adonis", "The Rape of Lucrece", "The Passionate Pilgrim", "The Phoenix and the Turtle", and "A Lover's Complaint".  From what I have read, poems were usually reserved only for nobility, which is probably why Shakespeare only had five published.  He, himself, was not nobility.  All of his poems were very well-received, and the majority of them dealt with erotic themes.  He dedicated two of the poems, "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece", to the Earl of Southampton, whom some scholars consider to be Shakespeare's lover.   

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:40 AM (Answer #2)

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Please see the link below for another answer.

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asmit | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 29, 2014 at 6:35 PM (Answer #3)

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Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets

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menen1892 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM (Answer #4)

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Currently, 154 sonnets and 3 narrative poems are attributed to William Shakespeare. Technically, sonnets are poems, but they are short and only have 14 lines. These sonnets or  poems by Shakespeare are written in iambic pentameter and features a strict rhyming pattern. Shakespeare's 3 narrative poems are "A Lover's Complaint", "Venus and Adonis", and "The Rape of Lucrece". Narrative poems are long poems which are stories that are written in poetic verse. There may be more poems that have been written by William Shakespeare, but they have not been verified as being written by him at this current moment.

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