A Companion to Shakespeare's Sonnets / Edition 1

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Overview

How should we read Shakespeare's sonnets? What knowledge and experience do readers need to appreciate the resonance of these vibrant poems? And in what context is their accomplishment most apparent? This authoritative Companion to Shakespeare's Sonnets represents the myriad ways of answering these questions and of thinking about the remarkable achievement of the sonnets.

The Companion demonstrates how the sonnets provide a mirror in which cultures can read their own critical biases. It also shows how the sonnets tease readers with the prospect of learning something about the inner life of this most enigmatic of writers. Its original contributions consider the form, sequence, and content of the sonnets, the literary context in which they were produced, and the ways they have been edited and printed. Informed by the latest theoretical, cultural, and archival work, the text also takes account of the work of earlier generations of scholars.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Of making many reference books about Shakespeare there is no end, and Blackwell, a leader in the field of reference books on literature and other topics, has produced a large and expensive Companion to Shakespeare's Sonnets" (Chronique)

"This title provides a solid introduction to key concepts and ways of studying the work of an author who whose reputation is so great it is often difficult for readers new to the works to know where to begin.... The quality of all the essays is very high." (Reference Reviews, Issue 4 2008)

"Michael Schoenfeldt's compilation of twenty-five critical essays takes into account the most important issues concerning Shakespeare's sonnets: historical, interpretive, biographical, and editorial ... Several familiar themes in Sonnet criticism get fresh readings here … it is obviously impossible to do justice here to all of the essays ... it is a valuable [guide] to the current state of criticism and scholarship." (Renaissance Quarterly)

"This is generally an excellently structured collection of essays." (Notes and Queries)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Schoenfeldt is Professor of English Literature at the University of Michigan and Director of the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. He is the author of Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England: Physiology and Inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, and Milton (1999), Prayer and Power: George Herbert and Renaissance Courtship (1991), and co-editor of Imagining Death in Spenser and Milton (2003).
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

Acknowledgments xii

Introduction 1

Part I Sonnet Form and Sonnet Sequence 13

1 The Value of the Sonnets Stephen Booth 15

2 Formal Pleasure in the Sonnets Helen Vendler 27

3 The Incomplete Narrative of Shakespeare's Sonnets James Schiffer 45

4 Revolution in Shake-speares Sonnets Margreta de Grazia 57

Part II Shakespeare and His Predecessors 71

5 The Refusal to be Judged in Petrarch and Shakespeare Richard Strier 73

6 "Dressing old words new"? Re-evaluating the "Delian Structure" Heather Dubrow 90

7 Confounded by Winter: Speeding Time in Shakespeare's Sonnets Dympna Callaghan 104

Part III Editorial Theory and Biographical Inquiry: Editing the Sonnets 119

8 Shake-speares Sonnets, Shakespeare's Sonnets, and Shakespearean Biography Richard Dutton 121

9 Mr. Who He? Stephen Orgel 137

10 Editing the Sonnets Colin Burrow 145

11 William Empson and the Sonnets Lars Engle 163

Part IV The Sonnets in manuscript and Print 183

12 Shakespeare's Sonnets and the Manuscript Circulation of Texts in Early Modern England Arthur F. Marotti 185

13 The Sonnets and Book History Marcy L. North 204

Part V Models of Desire in the Sonnets 223

14 Shakespeare's Love Objects Douglas Trevor 225

15 Tender Distance: Latinity and Desire in Shakespeare's Sonnets Bradin Cormack 242

16 Fickle Glass Rayna Kalas 261

17 "Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame": Mapping the "Emotional Regime" of Shakespeare's Sonnets Jyotsna G. Singh 277

Part VI Ideas of Darkness in the Sonnets 291

18 Rethinking Shakespeare's Dark Lady Ilona Bell 293

19 Flesh Colors and Shakespeare's Sonnets Elizabeth D. Harvey 314

Part VII Memory and Repetition in the Sonnets 329

20 Voicing the Young Man: Memory, Forgetting, and Subjectivity in the Procreation Sonnets Garrett A. Sullivan 331

21 "Full character'd": Competing Forms of Memory in Shakespeare's Sonnets Amanda Watson 343

Part VIII The Sonnets inland the Plays 361

22 Halting Sonnets: Poetry and Theater in Much Ado About Nothing Patrick Cheney 363

23 Personal Identity and Vicarious Experience in Shakespeare's Sonnets William Flesch 383

Part IX The Sonnets and A Lover's Complaint 403

24 "Making the quadrangle round": Alchemy's Protean Forms in Shakespeare's sonnets and A Lover's Complaint Margaret Healy 405

25 The Enigma of A Lover's Complaint Catherine Bates 426

Appendix: The 1609 Text of Shakespeare's Sonnets and A Lover's Complaint 441

Index 502

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