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The Rift in The LuteAttuning Poetry and Philosophy$
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Maximilian de Gaynesford

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198797265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198797265.001.0001

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Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Chapter:
(p.173) 12 Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Source:
The Rift in The Lute
Author(s):

Maximilian de Gaynesford

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198797265.003.0013

Shakespeare gives dramatic salience to his use of the Chaucer-type in the Sonnets. He often plays the type against phrases of similar form but different effect, or of different form but similar effect, making it difficult to determine whether a phrase is of this type, and whether the act named is indeed performed in the uttering. Recognizing the dramatic salience of the type has the power to develop and change the way we see the sequence as a whole, as well as the individual sonnets. It reconfigures elements, sharpens attentiveness, unlocks principles of composition, offering us an opportunity to practise attunement. For our ability to appreciate the dramatic significance of the type both invokes philosophy and informs it. Specifically, it invokes and informs philosophy of language (understanding what this phrase-type is), philosophy of action (understanding its uses), and metaphysics and epistemology (understanding scepticism about one’s own self).

Keywords:   Shakespeare, sonnets, Chaucer-type, engraft, Cavell, playfulness, Duncan-Jones, Descartes, scepticism, Nussbaum

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