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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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Donne, Shakespeare, and the Interrogative Conscience

Donne, Shakespeare, and the Interrogative Conscience

Chapter:
(p.85) 4. Donne, Shakespeare, and the Interrogative Conscience
Source:
Shakespeare and Donne
Author(s):

Mary Blackstone

Jeanne Shami

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823251254.003.0005

Despite their obvious differences, Donne and Shakespeare shared the challenge of engaging an audience. Through a study of the performance texts of The Life of Henry V and two of Donne’s Lenten sermons preached at Whitehall (February 20, 1617/1618 and April 1, 1627), this chapter compares the persuasive strategies used by the two writers to interrogate moral, political, and cultural values and to engage the individual and collective conscience in a medial space of negotiated meaning and identity. Using similarly experiential processes and a manipulation of “nearenesse,” distance, and empathy, they initiated a potentially transformative process of reflection and questioning that put them and their audiences at the forefront of the cultural and political changes of their age.

Keywords:   Donne, Shakespeare, Henry V, sermons, plays, audience, conscience, interrogate, performance, court

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