Discuss Shakespeare’s sonnet sequence?



In 1608 he published his Sonnets. Central themes: love, poetry and time – love outlasts time, poetry outlasts both. With these sonnets, he examines feminine and masculine relationships as a kind of a spiritual testament to what happened in his private life. He wasn’t too autobiographical in them, though.
154 Sonnets:
o 1-17:

written to a young man, urging him to marry and have children, thereby passing down his beauty to the next generation – the PROCREATION sonnets

o 18-126:

addressed to a young man, expressing the poet‘s love for him
o 127-152:

written to the poet‘s mistress expressing his strong love for her
o 153-154:

allegorical
The final 30-or-so sonnets discuss a number of issues, such as:
– The young man‘s infidelity with the poet‘s mistress
– Self-resolution to control his own lust
– Beleaguered criticism of the world

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