The contradiction of opposites in Shakespeare Sonnets

Etkin, Jan (2016). The contradiction of opposites in Shakespeare Sonnets. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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The aim of research is an examination of the contradiction of opposites in Shakespeare’s sonnets. The method used was to examine the contradiction within the lines of poetry as well as a paradoxical meaning between the lines and then between the couplet and quatrains within a sonnet. Finally the meaning between individual sonnets was contrasted. The basic assumption of the research is that a dream and a poem are a similar form of thinking. Both dream and poem weave the contradiction between external and internal reality into a new composite whole, which transforms objective reality into a subjective experience. This transformation is carried out by metaphor or condensation and displacement or metonymy. This makes the latent reading of the sonnet like the dream seditious whereas by contrast the manifest level reveals what is normatively desired and this gives the sonnet its ambiguous or indeterminate meaning. The findings of the research were that although the sonnets never state what love is they create a view of love which is paradoxical; on the one hand love is idealized and on the other denigrated. It is this conflict, which resonates with readers because in love people hold contradictory views of themselves and others.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, The Shakespeare Institute
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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