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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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Improper Nouns: A Response to Marshall Grossman

Improper Nouns: A Response to Marshall Grossman

(p.141) Improper Nouns: A Response to Marshall Grossman
Shakespeare and Donne

David Lee Miller

Fordham University Press

In response to Marshall Grossman’s “Inserting Me,” this chapter explores common ground between a post-structural argument about the force of pronomial utterance in Shakespeare and Donne and an analysis based on Luther’s notion of “theological grammar.” The Lutheran analysis focuses on Donne’s subject and object pronouns as markers for the struggle between active and passive righteousness, and it characterizes the moment of divine ravishment for which Donne’s speaker petitions as an “event” that happens only in the linguistic forms of the text, not in the represented spiritual experience of its speaker. The chapter closes by turning to Milton’s “Lycidas” and the phrase “lucky words” as another textual moment that may mark the rupture between conventional usage and “theological grammar.”

Keywords:   Shakespeare, Donne, Grossman, Luther, Milton, “theological grammar,”, “passive righteousness”

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