Sonnet 29 | Literature Criticism Thou Maist Have Thy Will: The Sonnets of Shakespeare and His Stepsisters

This literature criticism consists of approximately 28 pages of analysis & critique of Sonnet 29.
This section contains 8,369 words
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Josephine A. Roberts, Louisiana State University

One of the dangers in teaching Shakespeare's sonnets is that undergraduates may quickly become overwhelmed by the array of unanswered and unanswerable questions that surround the 1609 Quarto. When they come to the sonnets with the expectation of hearing the unmediated voice of the Bard, they confront instead a group of shifting and mysterious figures—the fair young friend(s), the rival poet, and the dark lady. If they share Wordsworth's conviction that "Shakespeare unlocked his heart" in the sonnets,1 they may follow in the wake of many earlier generations of readers who have searched in vain for a key.

To lead students into more fruitful approaches to the sonnets, I prefer to teach the sequence in conjunction with lyrics by contemporary women poets, including Elizabeth...

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This section contains 8,369 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Thou Maist Have Thy Will: The Sonnets of Shakespeare and His Stepsisters