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Shakespeare and DonneGeneric Hybrids and the Cultural Imaginary$
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Judith H. Anderson and Jennifer C. Vaught

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251254

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251254.001.0001

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“Nothing like the Sun”: Transcending Time and Change in Donne’s Love Lyrics and Shakespeare’s Plays

“Nothing like the Sun”: Transcending Time and Change in Donne’s Love Lyrics and Shakespeare’s Plays

Chapter:
(p.38) 2. “Nothing like the Sun”: Transcending Time and Change in Donne’s Love Lyrics and Shakespeare’s Plays
Source:
Shakespeare and Donne
Author(s):

Catherine Gimelli Martin

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823251254.003.0003

Against the views of Jonathan Dollimore, this chapter argues that the Western tradition of Romantic love revolves around not one but two central poles: love experienced as endless, unattainable longing, the Petrarchan tradition cited by Dollimore: and love experienced as an endless circle of mutuality, the tradition of hieros gamos variously appropriated by Shakespeare and Donne. Although both of these poets praise changeability or variety as necessary ingredients in romance, both deeply distrust and fear it, Donne particularly in his later love lyrics and Shakespeare in his early sonnets. The main difference is that Shakespeare begins explicitly to critique the myth of perfect mutuality in Much Ado About Nothing as well as in his Tragedy of Othello, plays where all but one male protagonist (Benedick) cruelly punish the women they love for the mere illusion of infidelity. The chapter concludes by exploring explanations for this psychological as well as aesthetic divide.

Keywords:   circle, as symbol, dialogism, Donne, Elegies, Donne Songs and Sonets, fidelity, in women, hieros gamos, Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, Shakespeare, Sonnets, Shakespeare, Othello, change

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