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Shakespeare, Love and Language


  • Date Published: June 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316637951

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • What is the nature of romantic love and erotic desire in Shakespeare's work? In this erudite and yet accessible study, David Schalkwyk addresses this question by exploring the historical contexts, theory and philosophy of love. Close readings of Shakespeare's plays and poems are delivered through the lens of historical texts from Plato to Montaigne, and modern writers including Jacques Lacan, Jean-Luc Marion, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jacques Derrida, Alain Badiou and Stanley Cavell. Through these studies, it is argued that Shakespeare has no single or overarching concept of love, and that in Shakespeare's work, love is not an emotion. Rather, it is a form of action and disposition, to be expressed and negotiated linguistically.

    • The first full-length study of love in the works of Shakespeare for thirty years
    • Combines philosophical, historical, theoretical and linguistic approaches to the treatment of love on the works of William Shakespeare
    • Provides close readings of Shakespeare's work illuminated by the ideas of writers such as Plato, Wittgenstein and Derrida
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Schalkwyk's arguments are closely reasoned and insightful … Essential.' C. Baker, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316637951
    • length: 262 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. 1. Shaping fantasies
    2. Love's troubled consummations
    3. The impossible gift of love
    4. The finality of the you
    5. Is love an emotion?

  • Author

    David Schalkwyk, Queen Mary University of London
    David Schalkwyk is Academic Director of Global Shakespeare and has a Chair in Shakespeare Studies at Queen Mary University of London. He was formerly Director of Research at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC and editor of the Shakespeare Quarterly. His books include Speech and Performance in Shakespeare's Sonnets and Plays (Cambridge, 2002), Literature and the Touch of the Real (2004), and Shakespeare, Love and Service (Cambridge, 2008), Hamlet's Dreams: The Robben Island Shakespeare (2013) and The Word Against the World: The Bakhtin Circle (2016).

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