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Charney, Maurice. . Columbia University Press, New York 1993.

Girard, Rene. . Oxford University Press, New York 1991.

 Trivia about the world's most famous bard from words coined by the bard to his marriage.
While Shakespeare sticks fairly closely to the narrative of Ovid, in , he expands significantly on the action through the characterization of both Tarquin and Lucrece. Shakespeare creates as a result a tense drama with both moral and political overtones. The verses are thick with rhetorical flourishes and wordplay. Like its predecessor, sparked much critical debate over the years, mostly regarding how Lucrece's language often works against her emotion.

Kliman, Bernice. . Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickenson UP, 1988.

was published the year after . Because of their proximity and Shakespeare's dedication of both works to Southampton, the two poems are often thought of as companion pieces. In fact, it's believed that is the "graver labour" to which Shakespeare refers in the dedication of . Written in rhyme royale stanzas, also borrows from Ovid.


Knight, G. Wilson. . Methuen, New York 1986.

is a microcosm of Shakespeare's writing: taking a classical source and infusing it with both heightened formality and a playful humanity. Of course, the poem's comic overtones and animal sensuality caused it to lapse into critical disfavor.

Shakespeare made a good name for himself in London. Not only were The Lord Chamberlain's Men the most popular company at the time, they were the favorites of Queen Elizabeth, a patron of theatres and actors, who invited them every Christmas to act for her at the palace, (Shakespeare responded with , giving the Tudor ascension a more legitimate turn). This great distinction was usually parcelled out among companies, but for several years The Lord Chamberlain's Men alone held the privilige. Shakespeare himself was able to sell octavo editions of his plays (sometimes called "penny copies") to the literate in his audience. This also represents a first - neverbefore had a playwright been so well-liked within his own time that his playswere sold like novels.

Leavenworth, Russell, editor. . San Francisco: Howard Chandler, 1960.

Shakespeare, however, makes one crucial twist to Ovid's . Ovid's Venus is an irresistible, tragic goddess whose love Adonis returns. portrays the goddess as a comically frustrated seductress who can't seem to distract Adonis from his love of hunting. Shakespeare also includes elements from from the tales of Narcissus and Hermaphroditus.

Mander, Raymond, and Joe Mitchenson. . London: Rockliff, 1952.

Shakespeare dedicates as "the first heir of my invention." In doing so, Shakespeare acknowledges that even he considered his plays as literary works inferior to poetry. The poem, a brief epic, evokes comparisons to Marlowe's , to which owes at least some debt. Equal parts comic and erotic, the poem is Shakespeare's take on a story told by Ovid in which Venus falls for the handsome youth Adonis.

Merchant, W. M. . London: Oxford UP, 1959.

Describes the many chapters in the immortal Bard's colorful life from birth, his disappearance, marriage, his death and ending in the printing of the First Folio in 1623.

Mills, John A. . Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985.

The first edition of 1609 could very well have been an unauthorized printing. The dedication is enigmatic, and the sonnet by that time had waned in popularity. Whether or not Thorpe published the 1609 quarto with Shakespeare's blessing, the sonnets as they are printed comprise the foundation for all later versions. Points of debate have ensued ever since as to:

Oakley, Lucy. . New York: Columbia University, 1994.

The 1599 volume was a collection of twenty poems that the publisher attributed entirely to Shakespeare. Only five works can be traced to Shakespeare: versions of sonnets 138 and 144, and three poems presumably taken from a quarto edition of . Thomas Heywood actually complained about a later reprinting of the work in which his poetry was published but still credited to Shakespeare. Heywood also noted that Shakespeare was unhappy with the publisher, William Jaggard, who "presumed to make so bold with his name." It seems apparent that Jaggard's printing was an unauthorized enterprise.