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Title: 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' : the natural world in Shakespeare's poetry
Authors: Francalanza, Julian
Keywords: Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Criticism and interpretation
English poetry -- 16th century
English poetry -- 17th century
Nature in literature
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This dissertation seeks to explore the extent of the significance of the element of nature within Shakespeare's non-dramatic poetry. While the importance of the natural world has been identified and illustrated by various scholars, the magnitude of the influence which this component has on his poems may still not be fully evident. This study will look to establish this through an analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnets, as well as Venus and Adonis, exploring how Shakespeare draws upon different aspects of his natural surroundings in various ways, whether this be on the level of theme, character, or mood and atmosphere. The introductory chapter will contextualise the topic of this study, looking at the period in which Shakespeare is writing, and exploring the attitudes and influences which impact the era, as well as observing how the natural world is used within the works of Shakespeare's contemporaries. This chapter will also look at how this topic has been dealt with in Shakespeare criticism, introducing a number of seminal studies which have touched upon it in various ways. The following two chapters will consist of the analysis of the works which are the main focus of this study. Chapter Two will deal with the Sonnets, looking at how the element of nature is used in individual sonnets whilst examining how it is integrated within the sequence as a whole, illustrating how this factor works as an integral component of what Shakespeare sets out to do with these poems. Chapter Three will shift focus onto Venus and Adonis, exploring how this poem relies on the world of nature for much of what it achieves, and how Shakespeare draws upon this resource with varying intentions on multiple levels of this literary work. In conclusion, this dissertation will draw upon the analyses to make the case that the world of nature is among the most significant and crucial aspects of Shakespeare's poetry, and that it is absolutely central to the beauty and power of his works.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2017

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