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The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare's Poetry (Cambridge Introductions to Literature) Paperback – November 8, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0521705073 ISBN-10: 052170507X

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Introductions to Literature
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (November 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052170507X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521705073
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Schoenfeldt's volume has all the merits of a first-rate lecture series. It provides the facts, engages judiciously with current scholarship, and models exacting readings of target texts."
--Recent Studies of the English Renaissance

Book Description

A comprehensive guide to the pleasures and challenges of reading Shakespeare's poetry, this volume outlines the poems' complexity while making them accessible. Emphasizing the whole poetic corpus, not just the Sonnets, it addresses the many approaches and contexts available for reading the poems, and includes exemplary readings of individual poems.

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Auerbach on November 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book does not, as the description says, give "the many approaches and contexts available for reading the poems." It is firmly within the new historicist school that has somewhat dominated Shakespeare studies for the last 30 years and is most associated with Stephen Greenblatt (though Greenblatt seems to have forsaken it in his recent, more populist books). Nothing wrong with that, but it renders this "Introduction" exceedingly tendentious. This sentence is fairly representative of the approach at work here: "As in the Sonnets, the concept of "use," loaning money out at interest, exempli'es the implicit economics of heterosexual reproduction, spending the capital of sperm to gain the interest of children."

So while you will find references to Joseph Pequigney's amazing 1996 book on sexuality in the sonnets, Such Is My Love: A Study of Shakespeare's Sonnets, you will not find any reference to Melchiori's Shakespeare's Dramatic Meditations: An Experiment in Criticism nor Leishman's Themes and Variations in Shakespeare's Sonnets, two classic studies. Both books certainly best this one on the sonnets, and John Kerrigan's Penguin edition of the Sonnets can fill in for a good discussion on A Lover's Complaint. Schoenfeldt's hardly cites any criticism prior to 1980, though the sparse references often make it hard to tell what he's drawing on.

Somewhat more egregiously, Schoenfeldt is iffy on questions of authorship.
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