A Lover’s Complaint

A Lover’s Complaint” is a narrative poem written by William Shakespeare, and published as part of the 1609 quarto of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. It was published by Thomas Thorpe. “A Lover’s Complaint” is an example of the female-voiced complaint, that is frequently appended to sonnet sequences. Other examples include Samuel Daniel’s “Complaint to Rosamund”, which follows Daniel’s Delia (1592), Thomas Lodge’s “Complaint of Elstred”, which follows Phillis (1593), Michael Drayton’s “Matilda the Faire”, which follows Ideas Mirrour (1594), and Richard Barnfield’s “Cassandra”, which follows The Affectionate Shepherd.

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon” (or simply “the Bard”). His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, three long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. They also continue to be studied and reinterpreted.

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