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Shakespeare's Sonnets

ISBN: 978-0-470-77751-0
176 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Shakespeare
This introduction provides a concise overview of the central issues and critical responses to Shakespeare’s sonnets, looking at the themes, images, and structure of his work, as well as the social and historical circumstances surrounding their creation.

  • Explores the biographical mystery of the identities of the characters addressed.
  • Examines the intangible aspects of each sonnet, such as eroticism and imagination.
  • A helpful appendix offers a summary of each poem with descriptions of key literary figures.
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Preface.

1. Introduction: Shakespeare’s Perfectly Wilde Sonnets.

2. Identity.

3. Beauty.

4. Love.

5. Numbers.

6. Time.

Appendix: The Matter of the Sonnets.

Notes.

Works Cited.

Index

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Dympna Callaghan holds the Dean’s Chair in the Humanities at Syracuse University. She has been awarded major fellowships at the Newberry and Folger Libraries and at the Getty Research Institute, and she is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Her publications include The Impact of Feminism in English Renaissance Culture (2006), Romeo and Juliet: Texts and Contexts (2003), “The Duchess of Malfi:” Contemporary Critical Essays (2000), Shakespeare Without Women (2000), A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare (Blackwell, 2000) - winner of Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book, Feminist Readings in Early Modern Culture (edited with E. Lindsay Kaplan and Valerie Traub 1996), The Weyward Sisters: Shakespeare and Feminist Politics (with Lorraine Helms and Jyotsna Singh, 1994), and Woman and Gender in Renaissance Tragedy (1989). She is currently editing The Oxford Anthology of Early Modern English Verse.
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  • Provides a concise overview of the central issues and critical responses to Shakespeare's sonnets.

  • Looks at the themes, images and structure of the sonnets, as well as the social and historical circumstances surrounding their creation.

  • Explores the biographical mystery of the identities of the characters addressed.

  • Examines the intangible aspects of each sonnet, such as eroticism and imagination.

  • A helpful appendix offers a summary of each poem with descriptions of key literary figures.
See More
“Lucid and engaging in its presentation, wide-ranging in its scope, and acute in its analyses, this book provides a valuable overview of Shakespeare's sonnets” Heather Dubrow, University of Wisconsin<!--end-->

"Dympna Callaghan provides an informed but most accessible guide to Shakespeare's Sonnets, demystifying and illuminating these enthralling poems in equal measure. She examines them in relation to the conventions and understandings of their own time, to show how they continue to speak so powerfully to ours." Richard Dutton, Ohio State University

“Callaghan makes an enduring contribution to scholarship on some of the most accomplished yet enigmatic lyric verse in the English language.”
Choice

“It presents the ongoing issues clearly, and takes a stand … .Callaghan’s intelligent and concise introduction, demonstrate that … criticism is not tired at all.” Notes and Queries

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