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Reading the Allegorical IntertextChaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton$
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Judith H. Anderson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228478

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823228478.001.0001

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Patience and Passion in Shakespeare and Milton

Patience and Passion in Shakespeare and Milton

(p.259) 17. Patience and Passion in Shakespeare and Milton
Reading the Allegorical Intertext

Judith H. Anderson

Fordham University Press

Milton's poetry recalls the centrality and complexity of Shakespeare's engagement with patience but goes beyond it to render the traditional significance of this virtue dynamic and revisionary. King Lear is Shakespeare's passion play, and what impels the old king into its central act begins with his half-comprehended outcry. Milton uses the same topos, and the significance of this is the proximity and continuity of patience and action. Patience is a central concern throughout Milton's major poems, but a sonnet on his blindness provides the crucial text. In Shakespeare's Othello, patience plays a less central part but his words occur with remarkable frequency throughout the play, and it significantly featured Othello's tormented and crucial speech during his only extensive interview before the scene of her murder.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, patience, passion, topos, Milton, King Lear, Othello

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