David West is a highly distinguished classicist and literary critic. Here, he explores the sonnets of Shakespeare. The application of the techniques of classical scholarship to the sonnets results in the one of the most impressive and delightful contributions to Shakespeare studies in recent years. At a time when our familiarity with Shakespeare's language is in decline, West restores the full force of the poems' meaning to non-specialist readers with an immediacy and power that will surprise and delight. The context of each poem, its relationship with its neighbours, its argument, as well as the details of its language and musical effects, are all explained in clear terms by a master of close reading. This is literary criticism at its best - a sensitive and subtle reading of a great poet at the height of his powers. Lovers of Shakespeare and lovers of great poetry will find here the best possible guide to what is perhaps the greatest wonder in the English language - the high summit of Shakespeare's himalayan career.