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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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Inserting Me: Some Instances of Predication and the Privation of the Private Self in Shakespeare and Donne

Inserting Me: Some Instances of Predication and the Privation of the Private Self in Shakespeare and Donne

Chapter:
(p.133) 6. Inserting Me: Some Instances of Predication and the Privation of the Private Self in Shakespeare and Donne
Source:
Shakespeare and Donne
Author(s):

Marshall Grossman

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823251254.003.0007

Donne and Shakespeare realize that “the self can only be possessed and confirmed through and as acts of predication,” in which “the immediacy of the self is sacrificed to the hegemony of its signifiers.” By analyzing two exchanges in Hamlet in which public and private language conflict, this chapter establishes that literature “can only tell a common truth by representing particulars, which must belie their particularized circumstances.” The space for “authentic being” lies between such dissonant linguistic predications, between a public language and a private one. The play between will/Will in Shakespeare’s Sonnets is where words cannot be separated and truth can be told by lying. This struggle for selfhood finds its parallel in Donne’s sonnets when the poet struggles “to surrender the self to the Holy Spirit” without also losing his “subjective voice.”

Keywords:   Shakespeare Sonnets, Donne Sonnets, Selfhood, Public, Private, Language, Will, Predication

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