T.S. Eliot once wrote that, "Shakespeare gives the greatest width of human passion," and it is this passion that has traditionally made The Sonnets appealing to scholars and laymen alike. Surrounded by mystery, The Sonnets tell an intensely dramatic story of someone caught up in the conflicts of divided emotions. No-one knows to whom these poems were addressed and little is known of the circumstances surrounding their original publication in 1609, but on the other hand no-one has ever denied the amazing verbal magnificence and beauty of these poems, usually considered the finest of their type in English. Because they are passionate, witty, personal and even bawdy, The Sonnets stand as one of the greatest poetic tributes ever written to a beloved.