William Shakespeare | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Gregory W. Bredbeck

This literature criticism consists of approximately 15 pages of analysis & critique of William Shakespeare.
This section contains 4,383 words
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Critical Essay by Gregory W. Bredbeck

SOURCE: "Traditional and the Individual Sodomite," in Sodomy and Interpretation: Marlowe to Milton, Cornell, 1991, pp. 141-85.

In the excerpt below, Bredbeck proposes that Shakespeare 's sonnets represent a critique of language as a means of restricting expressions of desire to a single gender or sexuality. Focusing on Sonnets 1-21, he explains that although each poem demands a gendered interpretation, each one simultaneously frustrates our attempts to construct such a reading.

. . . The history of commentary on Shakespeare's sonnets is also the history of how to read humanistically.37 Questions of the identity of the dark lady, the rival poet, the boy;38 debates on the identity of W. H.;39 biographical arguments over what is sexual, what is platonic, and what was Shakespeare's sexual preference:40 these questions, which form the bulk of criticism about the sonnets, all presuppose that the...

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This section contains 4,383 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Gregory W. Bredbeck