First published in 1609, Shakespeare’s Sonnets had been circulated in manuscript form for at least a decade before publication. Sonnets of course are a form of metrical poetry that consists of 14 lines and follows a strict rhyming sequence in iambic pentameter.
The sonnet was particularly popular in the Elizabethan age, both in England and on the European Continent. It allowed ample opportunity for wit and ingenuity. But, Shakespeare’s sonnets are somewhat unique. The depths of moral and esthetic contemplation in his Sonnets are more profound than sonnets by any other Elizabethan poet. They contain a vast landscape of metaphors and vividly recognizable characters including the Dark Lady and the rival poet.
Here we offer a few select sonnets, ones that exemplify his best and most well-known sonnets for you to sample.
Source: The Riverside Shakespeare