Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: A Very Short Introduction [#534]
Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: A Very Short Introduction [#534]


  • Covers all of Shakespeare's poems, including the Sonnets and his major narrative poems, offering fresh analyses of the core themes and the most dramatically compelling moments
  • Gives an enhanced view of the art of Shakespeare's poetry in light of his own drama and the writing of several important contemporaries.
  • Explores connections between Shakespeare's poetry and the plays, and considers parallels with other arts of the period to illuminate Shakespeare's writing
  • Discusses the Afterlife of Shakespeare's poetry, especially the Sonnets, and considers later authors whose works were influenced by these poems

Not for nothing is William Shakespeare considered possibly the most famous writer in history; his works have had a lasting effect on culture, vocabularies, and art. His plays contain some of our most well-known lines (how often have you heard the phrase 'To be or not to be'?), yet whilst his poems may often feel less familiar than his plays they have also seeped into our cultural history (who has not heard of ''Shall I compare thee to a summer's day'?).

In this Very Short Introduction Jonathan Post introduces all of Shakespeare's poetry: the Sonnets; the two great narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of LucreceA Lover's Complaint; and The Phoenix and Turtle. Describing Shakespeare's double identity as both poet and playwright, in conjunction with several of his contemporaries, Post evaluates the reciprocal advantages as well as the different strategies and strains that came with writing for the stage and the page. Tackling the debates surrounding the disputed authorship of Shakespeare's poems, he also considers the printing history of Shakespeare's canon, and the genres favoured by the bard. Exploring their reception, both with contemporary audiences and through the ages until today, Post explores the core themes of love and lust, and analyzes how the sonnets compare with other great love poetry of the English Renaissance.


1: Poet and playwright: page and stage
2: Venus and Adonis
3: The Rape of Lucrece
4: The sonnets 1
5: The sonnets 2
6: A Lover's Complaint
Further Reading


Jonathan F. S. Post, Distinguished Professor of English, UCLA
Jonathan F. S. Post is Distinguished Professor of English at UCLA, and the Founding Director of the UCLA Summer Shakespeare Program in Stratford and London. He is the author of many books and articles, including A Thickness of Particulars: The Poetry of Anthony Hecht, (Oxford University Press, 2013), and the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare's Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2013).

"Expansive for a volume with so little page space, Johnathan F.S. Post's Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: A Very Short Introduction is a valuable addition to the libraries of novices and experts alike." - Hannah Smith-Drelich, The Shakespeare Newsletter

"This little gem achieves a great deal in very short compass, swiftly capturing the paradox at the sonnet's heart." - Katharine Craik, Times Literary Supplement

"This elegant little book is more than an introduction to the greatest lyric poems in the English language; it is itself a finely crafted work of English prose, one that any admirer of these poems will want to savour." - James Longenbach

"cover[s] an impressive amount of literary and historical ground, and convey[s] a suitably sizeable serving of Shakespeare knowledge." - Shakespeare Magazine


ISBN : 9780198717577

Jonathan F. S. Post
152 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: A Very Short Introduction [#534]

Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: A Very Short Introduction [#534]

Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: A Very Short Introduction [#534]