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The emotional life of Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Authors

Katharine Craik

Abstract

Shakespeare’s Sonnets have always stirred impassioned responses among readers. Perhaps most famously, Oscar Wilde’s obsessive scholar Cyril Graham shoots himself with a revolver in The Portrait of Mr W.H. in order to defend his belief that Shakespeare dedicated these poems to Mr W.H., the beautiful young Elizabethan actor Willie Hughes. This talk explores why Shakespeare’s sonnets have always had – and continue to have – the power to entrance, beguile and possess those who read them. We will explore some sonnets in detail, focusing in particular on the demands they make upon their readers’ sympathies.

Digital Artefact Type Audio
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Literature and Emotions, Tea-Time Talks, Shakespeare, Sonnets

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