Most of the subsequent sonnets describe the ups and downs of the relationship, culminating with an affair between the poet and the Dark Lady.
The relationship seems to end when the Fair Youth succumbs to the Lady's charms (Sonnet 144).
It is not known whether the poems and their characters are fiction or autobiographical; scholars who find the sonnets to be autobiographical, notably A. Rowse, have attempted to identify the characters with historical individuals.
The earliest poems in the sequence recommend the benefits of marriage and children.
Shakespeare's sonnets is the title of a collection of 154 sonnets by William Shakespeare, which covers themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality.