Ideas of Order

Ideas of Order

A Close Reading of Shakespeare's Sonnets

Book - 2014
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"An approachable and indispensable guide to Shakespeare's sonnets Shakespeare's sonnets are the greatest single work of lyric poetry in English, as passionate, daring, intimate, and moving as any love poems we may encounter. And yet, they are often misunderstood--as W.H. Auden remarked, "more nonsense has been talked and written, more intellectual and emotional energy expended in vain, on the sonnets of Shakespeare than on any other literary work in the world." Ideas of Order instills pleasure in this extraordinary verse, revealing an underlying narrative within the 154 poems that illuminates the work--providing a guide that inspires a new understanding of this complex masterpiece. The Elizabethan scholar and former Harvard University president Neil L. Rudenstine makes a compelling case for the existence of a dramatic arc within the work through an expert interpretation of distinct groups of sonnets in relationship to one another. The sonnets show us a poet in turmoil who falls for a young man who returns his affections--and the love is utterly transformative, binding him in such an irresistible way that it survives a number of heartbreaks. The poet and young man are equally attracted to a "dark lady," and both become enmeshed with her in an affair of lust and betrayal. Rudenstine's intimate reading explores the relationship between major groups of poems: the expressions of love, the transgressions, the longings, the jealousies, and the reconciliations. Along with his expert critical narrative, Ideas of Order includes all of Shakespeare's sonnets. This enlightening book is an invaluable companion for Shakespeare neophytes and experienced readers alike"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374280154
0374280150
Characteristics: 243 pages ; 24 cm

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