Elizabethan Era 1558 - 1603

Tudors Times 1485 - 1603

Jacobean Era 1603 - 1625

William Shakespeare as a Poet



William Shakespeare was born in 1564 to John and Mary Shakespeare. He was a very popular English poet and writer. William Shakespeare was baptized on 26th April 1564 at Stratford-upon-Avon. He had seven brothers and sisters. Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he was 18 years old. Anne is said to have been eight years older to him. She was three months pregnant when they got married. Together they had three children.

William Shakespeare published two narrative poems with erotic themes, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrene in 1593 and 1594 respectively. These poems later on became extremely popular. His collection of poems known as Sonnets was published in 1609. William Shakespeare wrote love poems and romantic poems. He is more popular for his sonnets. William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets.

Shakespeare wrote the poems in traditional style. The poetic form was blank verse and the poems were 14 line poems with iambic pentameter. Shakespeare in some of his poems added punctuation marks at the end of the lines to make it more effective and rhyming.

The first few poems written by him were non-dramatic. The Sonnets are said to have been a medium for describing feelings experienced by Shakespeare. Through these sonnets Shakespeare successfully essays emotions like sadness, discontent and wound. Most of his sonnets have love and praise as its theme. Most of the sonnets refer to a man while the others refer to a young beautiful woman. By mid 1590's Shakespeare was writing a more natural poetry.

William Shakespeare as a poet also dealt with conventional topics like love and beauty, friendship, betrayal, jealousy, hope and the related motifs. As a poet his poems and sonnets were passionate and intense. The language of the poems was normally metaphoric. The poems were considered to have been written in a highly complex language.

One of the reasons attributed to the complexity of the language is the fact that the language spoken or written then was very different from the language we use today. In his final few plays, Shakespeare changed his poetic style which gave an effect of impulsiveness. He also used rhyming couplets in some plays to end the scenes.

William Shakespeare as poet successfully used not only the conventional style of writing but also used the traditional style to convey his ideas. The variation in his poetic style made his poems very effective. Even so many years after his death, his work is still loved and admired by people across the world.

   
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