What Do I Read Next?
- A. L. Rowse, one of the great critics of English literature of recent times, scrutinized each of the 154 sonnets for Shakespeare’s Sonnets: The Problems Solved, published in 1973 by Harper & Rowe. Each sonnet is presented with limited notes, giving readers enough to see the story behind the poems without becoming bogged down with theory.
- A. L. Rowse is also the author of one of the most thoroughly-researched and readable biographies of the poet, Shakespeare the Man. The second edition was published in 1988 by St. Martin’s Press.
- One of the most interesting projects related to Shakespeare’s sonnets in recent years is Love’s Fire: Seven New Plays Inspired by Seven Shakespearean Sonnets, published in 1998 by William Morrow & Co. Playwrights who have works in this collection include Eric Bogosian, Wendy Wasserstein, and Ntozake Shange.
- English playwright and poet Ben Jonson was the closest thing to a peer that Shakespeare had. The two knew each other as friends, and early in his career Shakespeare appeared as an actor in one of Jonson’s plays. Readers can look at another great talent of Shakespeare’s time by reading The Complete Poems of Ben Jonson, published in 1988 by Penguin Classics.
- There are two basic types of sonnets. The English sonnet is often called the Shakespearean sonnet after its most skilled practitioner. Similarly, the Italian sonnet is also regularly referred to as the Petrarchan sonnet after Petrarch, the fourteenth-century Italian poet who perfected the form. His sonnets can be found in Petrarch: The Canzoniere, or Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta, translated by Mark Musa and introduced by Barbara Manfredi and published by the Indiana University Press in 1999.
- Oscar Wilde was a brilliant playwright (The Importance of Being Earnest) and novelist (The Picture of Dorian Gray). In 1899 he set his attention to discerning the truth of the identity of the person mentioned on the dedication page of the...
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