William Shakespeare Poems

William Shakespeare

The Poems of William Shakespeare

  • What Poems did he write?
  • When were the poems published?
  • Why did he publish his poems and not the plays?
  • Who were the poems dedicated to ?
  • Read the poems of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare Poems


  • The poems of William Shakespeare are less well known than his plays although his Sonnets are equally as famous
  • During the Elizabethan era playwrights were not considered 'serious' authors
  • But Poets were different - they were considered refined and well educated
  • Most of the poets of Shakespeare's era were well educated Courtiers such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Christopher Marlowe. These poets had credibility and so did their poetry
  • William Shakespeare was just a commoner - he lacked credibility - his poems would have helped to improve his image
  • William Shakespeare has been attributed with the following poems:
    • A Lover's Complaint
    • The Phoenix and the Turtle
    • The Rape of Lucrece
    • Venus and Adonis
  • The Passionate Pilgrime (1599) was a poetry collection containing twenty poems by various poets, only five of the poems are attributed to William Shakespeare


  • Shakespeare had a patron, a man of prominence who would support the young writer in his poetic works
  • His patron was Henry Wriothesley who was the Third Earl of Southampton (1573-1624)
  • Shakespeare published his poem Venus and Adonis on April 18th 1593. The poem was dedicated to Shakespeare's patron, the Earl of Southampton
  • The dedication refers to the author's "unpolisht lines" and contains the typically fawning language of a commoner who hopes to gain more favour by dedicating the poem to a courtier
  • The poem was an artistic success!
  • The Bard did not give permission for one of his plays or his sonnets to be published
  • He was, however, happy to have his poems published!

Visit this site for more of William Shakespeare's poetry and poems

William Shakespeare Index

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

2015 Siteseen Ltd