Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Speech and Performance in Shakespeare's Sonnets and Plays

  • Date Published: May 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521036337


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • David Schalkwyk offers a sustained reading of Shakespeare's sonnets in relation to his plays. He argues that the language of the sonnets is primarily performative rather than descriptive, and bases this distinction on the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and J. L. Austin. In a wide-ranging analysis of both the 1609 Quarto of Shakespeare's sonnets and the Petrarchan discourses in a selection of plays, Schalkwyk addresses such issues as embodiment and silencing, interiority and theatricality, inequalities of power, status, gender and desire, both in the published poems and on the stage and in the context of the early modern period. In a provocative discussion of the question of proper names and naming events in the sonnets and plays, the book seeks to reopen the question of the autobiographical nature of Shakespeare's sonnets.

    • The first sustained reading of Shakespeare's sonnets in relation to his plays
    • Sheds light on selected plays as well as the sonnets
    • Offers an alternative way in which to conceptualise the autobiographical nature of the sonnets via the absence of proper names in the 1609 Quarto
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Schalkwyk's Speech and Performance in Shakespeare's Sonnets and Plays is a profound and challenging book … The book will be of interest not only to Shakespeare scholars, but to anyone concerned with the intricate negotiations of self through language.' English Academy Review

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521036337
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.416kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the sonnets
    1. Performatives: the sonnets, Antony and Cleopatra and As You Like It
    2. Embodiment: the sonnets, Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night
    3. Interiority: the sonnets, Hamlet and King Lear
    4. Names: the sonnets, Romeo and Juliet, Troilus and Cressida and Othello
    5. Transformations: the sonnets and All's Well that Ends Well

  • Author

    David Schalkwyk, University of Cape Town
    David Schalkwyk is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Cape Town. He has published on Shakespeare, literary theory, philosophy, and South African literature in the Shakespeare Quarterly, English Literary Renaissance, the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Pretexts, Linguistic Sciences, Textus, and the Journal of Literary Studies.

Related Books

also by this author

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.