How could Shakespeare have possibly allowed his sonnets — personal, sexual, and often scandalous — to be published? I advance my own theory to account for the printing of the most shocking book of poetry in the history of literature, and discuss the possibilities as to the identities of the alluring Young Man and Dark Lady. Finally, we consider the light that the Sonnets shed upon Shakespeare’s plays, particularly his obsession with gender ambiguity and androgyny.Poems analyzed in this lecture: 17, 20, 135, 136 Full text of Shakespeare’s sonnets, searchable: http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/Archive/allsonn.htm Suggested further reading: Katherine Duncan-Jones, ed., “Shakespeare’s Sonnets”; Joseph Pequigney, “Such Is My Love”; Lynn Magnusson, “A Modern Perspective” in Folger Shakespeare Library’s edition of Shakespeare’s Poems; Don Paterson, “Shakespeare’s Sonnets,” (www.theguardian.com/books/2010/oct/â¦ts-don-paterson); Saul Frampton, “In Search of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady” (www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/â¦ark-lady-florio); Macd. P. Jackson, “The Authorship of ‘A Lover’s Complaint,'” The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Sep. 2008
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