William Shakespeare is a man of many words, and a writer of many emotions. Shakespeare's sonnets address many universal themes, such as love, jealousy, and concerns about aging and the effects of the passage of time in one's life. Shakespeare writes about personal experiences and adds a dramatic touch to them. Sonnet 13 addresses many concerns all dealing with the issues of love, life, and death. It must be observed that the words "so fair a house" in Sonnet 13, does not necessarily bear the meaning "family." Shakespeare's life was full of entertainment and confusion, this caused him to put confusion and entertainment into his writing of plays and poetry.
The poems other than the Sonnets are either tentative essays or occasional "graciousnesses" for a special purpose; the Sonnets themselves have such as intensity of central fire that no human nature, not even Shakespeare's, could keep it burning, and surround it with an envelope able to resist and yet to transmit the heat, for very long (Shakespeare: Poems).
Shakespeare's poems, as Colin Burrows aptly observes, have been "unthinkingly stigmatized by the dire privative prefix of the non-dramatic works". Burrows valuably emphasizes the connections among the poems, as well as their connections to the plays: demonstrating that the nondramatic texts tellingly juxtapose speech and narrative, he also argues that they "repeatedly meditate on the prefers effects and consequences of sexual desire, on sacrifice and self-sacrifice, on the ways in which a relationship of sexual passion might objectify or enslave both the desirer and the desired, and they repeatedly complicate simple binary distinctions between males and females" (Dubrow).
David Schalkwyk's important recent study Speech and Performance in Shakespeare's Sonnets and Plays (2002) focuses on the social embeddedness of the sonnets by emphasizing their direction of address, Burrows, in contrast,