originally posted April 23, 2016
Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!
Tradition says Shakespeare was born April 23.
While Shakespeare (1564-1616) is best remembered for his plays, his sonnets are what first brought him fame. There’s been much speculation about just who inspired them. Most are addressed to a fair young man, who was probably Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton and Shakespeare’s patron, which has caused much speculation about Shakespeare’s sexual orientation, but the later sonnets feature a ‘dark lady’— there’s been a frenzy of guesswork about this lady, even contributing to the never-ending debate about Shakespeare’s ‘true’ identity. Unless a hitherto unknown diary or a cache of letters addressed by name to his beloved show up, we’ll never know.
But we can rejoice in these works by the greatest writer in the English language, and that is more than enough for me. Here are three of his springtime sonnets.
He’s lamenting a…
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