The Sonnets of Shakespeare have hitherto presented the greatest problem in our literature : there has been no certainty recognised as to the person for whom they were written, the nature of the relations between Shakespeare and that person, the story they reveal, the identity of the rival poet and the part he played in the story, or even as to the character and dating of the Sonnets, where they come in Shakespeare’s life, or whether they belong together, to one period or not. Yet the answers to these questions are of fundamental importance not only to Shakespeare’s life, but to our conception of him ; and the Sonnets are documents of the first importance, for they are the most autobiographical ever written.
KeywordsHistorical Method True Love Emotional Pressure Young Friend Literary Exercise
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