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Complete Poetry: Sonnets and Narrative Poems | [William Shakespeare]

Complete Poetry: Sonnets and Narrative Poems

The sonnets are a collection numbering 154 poems dealing with themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty, and mortality. They were probably written over a long period of Shakespeare's life up until 1609, when they were first printed. The first 17 poems, traditionally referred to as the "procreation sonnets", are addressed to a young man urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalize his beauty by passing it on to his descendants.
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Publisher's Summary

The sonnets are a collection numbering 154 poems dealing with themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty, and mortality. They were probably written over a long period of Shakespeare's life up until 1609, when they were first printed. The first 17 poems, traditionally referred to as the "procreation sonnets", are addressed to a young man urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalize his beauty by passing it on to his descendants.

The other sonnets: express the speaker's love for a young man; brood upon loneliness, death, and the transience of life; appear to criticize the young man for preferring a rival poet; express ambiguity toward the speaker's mistress; and make a pun on the poet's name. The final two sonnets are allegorical recreations of Greek epigrams referring to the "little love-god" Cupid. Shakespeare's sonnets were strongly influenced by the Latin poet Horace.

In 1593 and 1594 the London theaters were closed because of plague. Shakespeare turned to poetry and published two narrative poems on erotic themes, "Venus and Adonis", and "The Rape of Lucrece". In "Venus and Adonis", a youthful Adonis rejects the sexual advances of Venus; but in "The Rape of Lucrece", the virtuous wife Lucrece is raped by the lascivious Tarquin. Inspired by Ovid's The Metamorphoses, the poems show the guilt and moral confusion resulting from uncontrolled lust. A third narrative poem, "A Lover's Complaint", presents a young woman who laments her seduction by a persuasive suitor. "The Phoenix and the Turtle" mourns the deaths of the legendary phoenix and his lover, the faithful turtle dove.

Public Domain (P)2012 Audio Connoisseur

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    Victoria Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-02-13
    Victoria Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-02-13
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    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Because these are some of the best love stories ever and you dont have to read


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • William Tarvainen
    London, UK
    4/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful (and easy!) intro to the Bard's poetry"
    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a privilege to get an overview of this important poetry with so very little effort – and of course Shakespeare's poetry (alongside his plays) is a must for any culture vulture


    What about Charlton Griffin’s performance did you like?

    Griffin recites with complete fluency – often the sonnets are meditated at such languishing length that the narrative suffers. This rather straightforward recital of sonnet after sonnet allows the themes of love, ageing (time/beauty) and morality to emerge.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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