William Shakespeare is ubiquitous throughout the Western world as the master of the written word, and the above-quoted “Sonnet 18” is celebrated as one of the most exquisite love poems of all time. Love comes in all forms—friendly, familial, unrequited, and lustful—and impressively, the bard’s canon works with them all. His views on love—whether they be amorous and passionate or obsessive and unsettling—are provocative to the mind and imagination. The modern reader will recognize poignant turns of phrase; though still used today, they originated from Shakespeare—known for inventing much of the modern English vocabulary. Shakespeare on Love draws from the entire Shakespeare canon: love sonnets, plays, and songs. Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and countless others all have their place. In one complete volume, discover the lyrical, the funny, the lewd, and the idolatrous passages on love as composed by the most influential writer of the English language.
Beloved excerpts featured in these pages include:
Sonnet 43: All days are nights to see till I see thee, And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.
As You Like It: Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?
Hamlet: Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.
Stephen Brennan is the author of The Adventurous Boy’s Handbook and The Adventurous Girl’s Handbook. He has also edited and arranged An Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt and An Autobiography of General Custer, among others. He has worked as a circus clown, book editor, teacher, cabaret artist, actor, director, shepherd, and playwright. He resides in New York City and West Cornwall, Connecticut.