Literatura Inglesa I – Prof.

Gerardo Rodríguez Salas

1

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: SONNETS SHAKESPEARE: TRADITION AND BEYOND Connections with sonneteering traditions: o Petrarchan: Platonism in love themes (platonic love and beauty) o Elizabethan + thematic: formal aspects (rhyme, sequence structuring)

Realism in human love Sadness for passing of time Poetic immortality for the love object Originality o Introducing more than one person in the love game love triangle Platonic love (with young man) vs. lusty love (with lady) o Subverting Petrarchan tradition: Dark beauty vs. blonde Worldly lady vs. idealised one lusts after her, frequently sleeps with her or wishes he could do so, and mostly despises Nothing could be farther removed from Petrarch’s chaste sonnets to Laura or Sidney’s to Stella unapproachable goddesses who kept their admirers at a safe distance and spoke only to their spiritual senses He allows love to coexist with, and even depend on, sexuality sexual passion is what make us human Most publications of sonnets distanced themselves from living persons either by concealing the author or by mythologizing the subject. Shakespeare’s sonnets: • Directly attributed to him

) subversion + adaptation to love theme STRUCTURE: 3 quatrains (Q1. diplomacy. but tonal difference it ties up with thematically central words. he uses general wisdom Sometimes this is displaced upwards. to show how words take on different emotional import as sonnet progresses - . Q2. military discourse. astronomy.2 Literatura Inglesa I – Prof. Q3) and a couplet (C) o Q1: wide epistemological field in which to play (sociolects mentioned above) o Q2: queries or subvert Q1 o Q3: advances ideas to the resolution o C: not resolution but CODA: summarising. etc. running out of things to say from his own heart. but he interrogates them: Neoplatonism and Christianity STYLE AND SONNET STRUCTURE (FORMAL) Borrowings from all sociolects (religion. and so. ironising. expanding. courtship. keeping the couplet for a fresh view Its propositional content may seem redundant. law. condensing the argument Here poet and speaker come close to convergence ironic distance from fictive speaker reduces Speaker usually turns to “consensus gentium” proverb-like line This implies speaker’s despair at solving personally the dilemma/conundrum. philosophy. repeated in Qs and C. medicine. Gerardo Rodríguez Salas • Plain title of “Sonnets” interposing NO barrier of allegory or fiction between himself and the reader - Aware of received topoi and ideas.

Gerardo Rodríguez Salas 3 - His structure is a motion the patterns show the changes of feelings if a change of feeling is detected. the poet returns to the Fair Young Man (97-98) o The poet again is reconciled with the youth after absence (109) o The poet is disgusted with his profession (110-111) . as he goes on a journey (47-49) o Because others seek the patronage of the youth. separated from the youth by the necessities of travel. the poet becomes jealous RIVAL POET (78-86) o The poet rebukes the youth for wantonness (96) o Away for a spring and a summer. but the thought of his love comforts him (29) o The poet cautions his friend not to honour him publicly if he is to avoid scandal (36) o The friend steals the poet’s mistress. then a stylistic change must ensue His major architectural figure Antithesis - SONNET CYCLE: THEMATIC STRUCTURE SONNETS 1-17: “Young man’s marriage” o Poet encourages Fair Young Man to marry and thus “preserve” his beauty SONNETS 18-126: “Love for a young man” o Intimacy increases from sonnet to sonnet love admiration into o At the beginning. the poet is shy and finds it difficult to speak in presence of his friend expression only in writing o The poet.Literatura Inglesa I – Prof. but is forgiven (40-42) o The poet wears the youth’s picture at his breast. keeps him constantly in mind (Sonnet 27) o The poet is an outcast.

o Sonnet 20: evidence of platonic love vs. Such is my Love.4 Literatura Inglesa I – Prof. homoerotic love IN FAVOUR Pequigney o Poet in love with Youth in an erotic sense Fascinated by physical beauty Idealises him Jealous of him Suffers during his absence Sexual infatuation: more obvious in second part metaphorically: eye (sexual organ) – gaze (intercourse) ambiguity with platonic love with youth . Gerardo Rodríguez Salas - SONNETS 127-154: “The Dark Lady” o Anti-mystifying description: Skilled player of virginals Untrue to him Loose moral character Physically unattractive False to her own husband o But the poet cannot help loving her o The collection ends with two conventional love sonnets on Cupid HOMOEROTIC VIEW (Joseph Pequigney. but alternative theory: he was writing to his son. 1985) AGAINST DEBATE o Charles Ogburn (The Mysterious William Shakespeare) always main issue about sonnets.

youth). Dark Lady Anxieties of infidelity on both sides Inspired by the Youth to write some of the most eloquent love poetry in English Beyond male camaraderie typical Renaissance theme: male friendship vs. the poet’s forwardness with the Youth evidence they occupy the same rank BEYOND HOMOEROTIC VIEW: LOVE TRIANGLE AS A POETIC STRATEGY DICHOTOMY LOVE vs. due to the unfaithful behaviour of the lady (this used by Shakespeare as a poetic license) vs. “appetite” and likens Youth to food. even praises odour of his breath vs. passion (condemned to oblivion) two kinds of love that are integrated in the triangle: Fair Youth: platonic love Dark Lady: lusty love o Neoplatonic ideal: exchange of beauty between males Beauty of mind (from man to youth) Beauty of body (from youth to man) o Dark Lady reverse of canonical beauty + character: ugly.Literatura Inglesa I – Prof. spiritual love hence Sh’s parody of Petrarchan ideal of beauty: strategy to praise spiritual attachment . “desire”. love between sexes o Despite age difference (poet: old vs. Gerardo Rodríguez Salas 5 Speaks of “pleasure”. dark and evil Sh’s intention: show the true deceitful nature of lusty love that leads the lover to degradation and despair. purity of the Youth no danger as sexuality is not involved (this corroborates the anti-homoerotic view) Physical vs. LUST ANTI-PETRARCHAN POETRY o Shakespeare’s intention perpetuation of Platonic love (endurance) vs.

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