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Thomas Watson

(1557—1592) poet and translator


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Sophocles (496—406 bc)

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(c. 1557–92),

published a Latin version of the Antigone of Sophocles, with an appendix of Latin allegorical poems and experiments in classical metres (1581). His most important work was The Ἑχατομαθία or Passionate Centurie of Love (1582), 18‐line poems, called sonnets, often based on classical, French, and Italian sources, and accompanied by learned explanatory notes. He published a Latin version of Tasso's Aminta (1585) and The First Sett of Italian Madrigalls Englished (1590), which were set to music by William Byrd. A few of his previously unpublished poems were included in The Phoenix Nest and Englands Helicon. His ‘sonnets’, among the earliest in English, were an influence on Shakespeare and others.

Subjects: Literature.


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