At a glance:
- Author: William Shakespeare
- First Published: 1609
- Type of Work: Lyric poetry
- Genres: Poetry, Lyric sequence, Lyric poetry, Sonnet
- Subjects: Love or romance, Poetry or poets, England or English people, Seventeenth century, Sixteenth century, Time
To appreciate Shakespeare’s accomplishments in creating his sonnets, it is important to understand the history of the genre. Both the form of the individual sonnet and the idea of the sonnet sequence were developed in the fourteenth century by Petrarch, who wrote a series of poems celebrating a beautiful but unattainable woman he called Laura. Petrarch’s formula became a model copied by poets throughout Europe during the next two hundred years. Generally the speaker in the poems is a man who explores his feelings for a particular woman and laments the fact that she...
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