I guess Shakespeare is best known for his plays, but it’s likely that his sonnets were what earned him the admiration of his contemporaries. Writing plays was the way to pay the bills, sonnets were the way to gain literary prestige. They were shared privately to impress, and were only later collected and published.
1 From fairest creatures we desire increase
10 For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any
18 Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
27 Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed
29 When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
30 When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
43 When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see
54 O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
60 Like as the waves make towards the pebbl’d shore
73 That time of year thou mayst in me behold
81 Or I shall live your epitaph to make
104 To me, fair friend, you never can be old
116 Let me not to the marriage of true minds
121 Tis better to be vile, than vile esteemed
This page is a work in progress.