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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.Read more
- 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
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
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- 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
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