‘Look in thy heart, and write’

Shakespeare’s Emotionally Explosive Diarising

Shakespeare’s sonnets, like those of his models, were lyric expressions of obsessive love. Slaves to passion, these writers’ physical selves were as tortured as their emotional selves, and they turned pen to paper to explore, with aching self-awareness, their erotic relationships – requited or otherwise.

Julie Sutherland will examine Shakespeare’s kaleidoscopic method of exploring his speaker’s feelings and observations about relationships – real or imagined. The session will consider Shakespeare’s fixation on both the poem and the beloved(s) as works of art, as well as the preoccupation with technique that was evident in his lyric verse. Above all, the session will showcase the spectrum of emotions that Shakespeare’s speaker experienced as a lover of, at least, one woman and one man.

Through a close analysis of a selection of Shakespeare’s sonnets, which will include hands-on interpretive work and the appraisal of sonnets in performance, participants will gain confidence in understanding how Shakespeare used the tightly controlled sonnet form as a method of emotionally explosive diarising.

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