Shakespeare’s sequence of 154 sonnets deals with such themes as love, time, death, immortality, lust, and sex. The poems follow but also depart from the Petrarchan tradition of sonnets written by a frustrated male lover to an unattainable idealized female beloved. Shakespeare’s sonnets are addressed to both male and female lovers: the androgynous “young man” and the alluring yet dangerously sexual “dark lady.”
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