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Reading Shakespeare's Will the Theology of Figure from Augustine to the Sonnets

by Lisa Freinkel

  • ISBN: 9780231123259
  • ISBN10: 0231123256

Reading Shakespeare's Will the Theology of Figure from Augustine to the Sonnets

by Lisa Freinkel

  • List Price: $34.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 01/01/2002
  • ISBN: 9780231123259
  • ISBN10: 0231123256
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Description: The most influential treatments of Shakespeares Sonnets have ignored the impact of theology on his poetics, examining instead the poets "secular" emphasis on psychology and subjectivity. "Reading Shakespeares Will" offers the first systematic account of the theology behind the poetry. Investigating the poetic stakes of Christianitys efforts to assimilate Jewish scripture, the book reads Shakespeare through the history of Christian allegory.
To "read Shakespeares will, " Freinkel argues, is to read his bequest to and from a literary history saturated by religious doctrine. Freinkel thus challenges the common equation of subjectivity with secularity, and defines Shakespeares poetic voice in theological rather than psychoanalytic terms. Tracing from Augustine to Luther the religious legacy that informs Shakespeares work, Freinkel suggests that we cannot properly understand his poetry without recognizing it as a response to Luthers Reformation. Delving into the valences and repercussions of this response, "Reading Shakespeares Will" charts the notion of a "theology of figure" that helped to shape the themes, tropes, and formal structures of Renaissance literature and thought.
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