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p. 714. On first looking into Shakespeare’s Sonnetslocked

  • Jonathan F. S. Post

Abstract

Shakespeare’s Sonnets are generally regarded as the finest collection of sonnets in the English language, and ‘On first looking into Shakespeare’s Sonnets’ seeks to offer yet one more perspective on why this is so. It outlines some of the puzzles and problems linked to the date of authorship and structure of the Sonnets; describes the sonnet form, comparing Shakespeare’s sonnet structure with that of Spenser; and considers some of the Sonnets in more depth, including Sonnet 116, the great ‘marriage’ poem. It is also noted that the Sonnets raise many ‘contemporary’ issues: matters of homosexual desire and transsexuality, of gender and racial stereotyping, of temptation and sexual addiction.

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