Love, Sex and Gender in Shakespeare's Sonnets
Through a close reading of selected sonnets, this course will seek to understand Shakespeare's relationship to the two objects of his sonnets -- the Fair Youth and the Dark Lady. We will examine the poems with an eye to understanding the nature of Shakespeare's attraction to both of these individuals, as well as the role played by poetry in these relationships.
Without seeking to determine Shakespeare's sexuality, we will read with an eye towards understanding how the sonnets capture Shakespeare's experience of love, sex and attraction. We will also try to understand the ways in which the sonnets could be said to be the culmination of Shakespeare's love affairs with these two individuals, thereby immortalizing his experience of eros through poetry.
A selection of sonnets will be emailed for participants' review before the class. If there is any sonnet in particular that you would like to examine with the group, do not hesitate to bring it up.
(class size: 12)