This Signet Classic Shakespeare contains an extensive overview of Shakespeare's life, world and theater by Sylvan Barnet. Special introduction to The Sonnets, by W.H. Auden. Facsimiles of the 1609 quarto edition of the Sonnets. Textual notes, including a facsimile showing a variant form of one sonnet. Literary criticism by William Empson, Hallett Smith, Winifred M. T. Nowottny, and Helen Vendler. Text, notes, and commentaries printed in the clearest, most readable type. Up-to-date list of recommended readings.