How Many Poems Did Shakespeare Write?

many-poems-did-shakespeare-write Credit: Neil Conway/CC-BY 2.0

William Shakespeare wrote 154 love sonnets and five longer narrative poems. His name also appears on the title page of the second edition of "The Passionate Pilgrim Poems," although only five sonnets are thought to be his. Shakespeare also wrote over 30 plays, which are typically divided into comedies, tragedies, histories and romances.

The five narrative poems of Shakespeare, in order of publication, are:

  • Venus and Adonis
  • Rape of Lucrece
  • Passionate Pilgrim
  • Phoenix and the Turtle
  • Lover's Complaint

Shakespeare's first two poems were dedicated to his patron, Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton. His sonnets were written between 1593 and 1601. They can be divided into two groups: 1-126 are addressed to a young male friend, while 127-152 are addressed to the "Dark Lady" the poet loves.