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Shakespeare and the Idea of the Book$
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Charlotte Scott

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212101.001.0001

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‘The lunatic, the lover, and the poet’: Teaching, Perversion, and Subversion in The Taming of the Shrew and Love’s Labour’s Lost

‘The lunatic, the lover, and the poet’: Teaching, Perversion, and Subversion in The Taming of the Shrew and Love’s Labour’s Lost

Chapter:
(p.57) 3 ‘The lunatic, the lover, and the poet’: Teaching, Perversion, and Subversion in The Taming of the Shrew and Love’s Labour’s Lost
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Shakespeare and the Idea of the Book
Author(s):

Charlotte Scott (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212101.003.0003

Written within about two or three years of each other, The Taming of the Shrew and Love’s Labour’s Lost are William Shakespeare’s only comedies to explore the pursuit of love through the semiotic of the book, its institution (the school), and its ideology (humanism). In both plays, the book is introduced through its particular relationship to the institute of learning. However, almost immediately, the imperatives of the play-world begin to destabilise the idea of the book and its pedagogic context. In examining both plays together, this chapter looks at the ways in which representations of love are scrutinised through the book and, more particularly, how a language of the book emerges in the dynamic between the lover and the beloved, which seeks to both fetishise and contain the body of the woman. Even within the few years that separate these plays, the book has shifted from an erotic object to a deficient form.

Keywords:   William Shakespeare, book, metaphors, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Taming of the Shrew, drama, plays, love, comedy

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