Although best known for his plays, William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) was also a poet who achieved extraordinary depth and variety in only a few key works. This edition of his poetry provides detailed notes, commentary and appendices resulting in an academically thorough and equally accessible edition to Shakespeare’s poetry.
The editors present his non-dramatic poems in the chronological order of their print publication: the narrative poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece; the metaphysical ‘Let the Bird of Loudest Lay’ (often known as The Phoenix and the Turtle); all 154 Sonnets and A Lover’s Complaint. In headnotes and extensive annotations to the texts, Cathy Shrank and Raphael Lyne elucidate historical contexts, publication histories, and above all the literary and linguistic features of poems whose subtleties always reward careful attention.
Substantial appendices trace the sources for Shakespeare’s narrative poems and the controversial text The Passionate Pilgrim, as well as providing information about poems posthumously attributed to him, and the English sonnet sequence. Shrank and Lyne guide readers of all levels with a glossary of rhetorical terms, an index of the poems (titles and first lines), and an account of Shakespeare’s rhymes informed by scholarship on Elizabethan pronunciation. With all these scholarly resources supporting a newly edited, modern-spelling text, this edition combines accessibility with layers of rich information to inform the most sophisticated reading.
Table of Contents
Preface. Introduction. Abbreviations. Chronology of Shakespeare’s life, works and sixteenth-/seventeenth-century events. VENUS AND ADONIS. Facsimile of 1593 title page. Introduction. Textual introduction. RAPE OF LUCRECE. Facsimile of 1594 title page. Introduction. Textual introduction. THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM. Facsimile of 1599 title page. Introduction. Textual introduction. LET THE BIRD OF LOUDEST LAY. Facsimile of 1604 title page to Diuerse Poetical Essaies. Introduction. Textual introduction. Text. SONNETS. Facsimile of 1609 title page. Introduction. Textual introduction. A LOVER’S COMPLAINT. Introduction. Textual introduction. POEMS POSTHUMOUSLY ATTRIBUTED TO SHAKESPEARE. Introduction (textual information to be given in footnotes). Text of ‘Shall I die?’ An extemporary epitaph on John Combe’. ‘Another epitaph on John Combe’. ‘Upon the king’. ‘Upon a pair of gloves’. ‘An epitaph on Elias James’. ‘Verses upon the Stanley tomb at Tong (East End)’. ‘Verses upon the Stanley tomb at Tong (West End)’. ‘On Ben Jonson’. ‘Epitaph on himself’. Appendix Poems from Diverse Poeticall Essaies on the former Subiect; viz. the Turtle and Phoenix. Bibliography of references cited. Index of titles and first lines.
Cathy Shrank is Professor of Tudor and Renaissance Literature at the University of Sheffield, UK.
Raphael Lyne is a Fellow of Murray Edwards College and a Reader in Renaissance Literature in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge, UK.