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Download Complete Poetry: Sonnets and Narrative Poems Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Complete Poetry: Sonnets and Narrative Poems (Unabridged), by William Shakespeare
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (34,876 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Charlton Griffin Publisher: Audio Connoisseur Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The sonnets are a collection numbering 154 poems dealing with themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty, and mortality. They were probably written over a long period of Shakespeare's life up until 1609, when they were first printed. The first 17 poems, traditionally referred to as the procreation sonnets, are addressed to a young man urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalize his beauty by passing it on to his descendants.

The other sonnets: express the speaker's love for a young man; brood upon loneliness, death, and the transience of life; appear to criticize the young man for preferring a rival poet; express ambiguity toward the speaker's mistress; and make a pun on the poet's name. The final two sonnets are allegorical recreations of Greek epigrams referring to the little love-god Cupid. Shakespeare's sonnets were strongly influenced by the Latin poet Horace.

In 1593 and 1594 the London theaters were closed because of plague. Shakespeare turned to poetry and published two narrative poems on erotic themes, Venus and Adonis, and The Rape of Lucrece. In Venus and Adonis, a youthful Adonis rejects the sexual advances of Venus; but in The Rape of Lucrece, the virtuous wife Lucrece is raped by the lascivious Tarquin. Inspired by Ovid's The Metamorphoses, the poems show the guilt and moral confusion resulting from uncontrolled lust. A third narrative poem, A Lover's Complaint, presents a young woman who laments her seduction by a persuasive suitor. The Phoenix and the Turtle mourns the deaths of the legendary phoenix and his lover, the faithful turtle dove.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Deborah | 2/20/2014

    " I love iambic pentameter...but then I am geeky that way. Some of what he writes is relevant today. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sean | 2/20/2014

    " I love Shakespeare, but reading all of the sonnets cover to cover is probably not the best way to enjoy them. The edition that I read included a number of longer love poems, which I found a little less approachable than the sonnets. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Zafirah Muhammad | 2/18/2014

    " I read this in high school and again in college. I love this like I love English gardens, architecture and farm houses "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Liam Carter | 2/17/2014

    " Incredible poetry, best digested slowly and thoroughly. "

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