The Loneliness of Shakespeare's Sonnets, or How Could/Should Shakespeare be Lonely?

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    Abstract

    This essay explores the changing historical and cultural meanings of loneliness as generated through the Sonnets at three key historical moments: during the 'cult of solitude' in the late 16th C; the highpoint of biographical readings of the Sonnets in the 19th C; and the reinterpretation of the Sonnets as objects of solace during the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020-22. It argues that loneliness did exist as a concept before the 18th Century, but that the idea of Shakespeare's loneliness is a highly charged and culturally sensitive one, as mediated by the Sonnets. It also explores pandemic-related modes of performing the Sonnets and how these have changed their meaning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWriting Early Modern Loneliness
    EditorsHannah Yip, Clifton Thomas
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Publication statusSubmitted - Jan 2022

    Publication series

    NameEarly Modern Literature in History
    PublisherPakgrave

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