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The Sonnets compiles 154 Sonnets written by Shakespeare on all manner of themes from love and fidelity to politics and lineage. Many of the sonnets - in particular the first 17, commonly called the procreation sonnets - were commissioned, a fact which calls a simple, romantic reading into question.
The sonnets are among the most accomplished and fascinating poems in the English language. They are central to an understanding of Shakespeare's work as a poet and poetic dramatist, and while their autobiographical relevance is uncertain, no account of Shakespeare's life can afford to ignore them.