In his own time, Shakespeare was best known to the reading public as a poet, and even today copies of his Sonnets regularly outsell everything else he wrote. For this edition, Stephen Orgel offers a warmly personal and original introduction to Shakespeare's best-loved and most widely read poems. Careful readings emphasize their sexual and temperamental ambiguity, their textual history and the special perils an editor faces when modernizing the original quarto's spelling, punctuation, and even layout. The edition retains the text of the Sonnets prepared by Gwynne Evans, together with his detailed notes on each, and a line-by-line commentary. Throughout, the 'voices' of the sonnets appear in all their intricacy and dramatic power.