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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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Aspects, Physiognomy, and the Pun: A Reading of Sonnet 135 and “A Valediction: Of Weeping”

Aspects, Physiognomy, and the Pun: A Reading of Sonnet 135 and “A Valediction: Of Weeping”

Chapter:
(p.148) 7. Aspects, Physiognomy, and the Pun: A Reading of Sonnet 135 and “A Valediction: Of Weeping”
Source:
Shakespeare and Donne
Author(s):

Julian Lamb

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823251254.003.0009

This chapter considers the nature of puns not (as it has frequently been considered) as a form of semantic ambiguity, but in terms of the capacity of language to assert its status as object. Using Wittgenstein’s notion of aspect seeing, it argues that by calling attention to two meanings at once, a pun also gives us an experience of the word, that peculiar aural and visual object from which both meanings emerge, but which itself is non-semantic. Shakespeare and Donne pun on proper names to various and differing effects. However, both pun so as to draw the reader’s attention to the word as an object in which meaning is enfolded, and from which meaning may dawn upon reader or writer in unknown and unexpected ways.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, Donne, puns, Wittgenstein, aspect seeing, wordplay; proper names

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