Mind in character : Shakespeare's speaker in the sonnets
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"This book is about poetry rather than theory. Shakespeare's poetry, I find, remains more relevant and more rewarding than any theory, however elaborate, as to who, if anyone, should read a text and, if so, how they should do it. In other words, I do not intend another prolegomena for future studies of the reader in the text and/ or the text in the reader. I simply have written what I think the sonnets are about, what they say and how they say it. I do not attempt to speak for "the reader," as I know little about him or her, but only for myself. What interests me especially is the behavior of Shakespeare's sonnet-speaker, the coherent psychological entity projected by the speaking voice in these poems. I do not identify that speaker with the historical William Shakespeare, knowing scarcely more about him than about "the reader."
Table of Contents
Ironies of awareness : the cosmic dimension ; The dry mock ; Dramatic irony -- Soliloquy sonnets : self-discovery ; Introspection ; Final statements -- Dialogue sonnets : four modes of address ; Four types of dialogue ; Sonnet 18 as dialogue -- Awareness lost : soliloquies ; Initial dialogues ; Later dialogues : the final breakdown -- Appendix. The sonnets classified by mode of address.