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Chapter 3 - The Sonnets and the Messiah

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 October 2020

Charles LaPorte
Affiliation:
University of Washington
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Summary

Chapter Three, “The Sonnets and the Messiah” shows how Victorian enthusiasts did with Shakespeare’s lyric expressions exactly as they had done with his plays. Charles Ellis’s astonishing collection, Shakespeare and the Bible: Fifty Sonnets, with their Scriptural Harmonies (1896) deliberately juxtaposes Shakespearean sonnets with passages from scripture so as to demonstrate their mutual accord. This chapter untangles the peculiar theological expectations implicit in Victorian reading to show how their conception of Shakespeare’s divinity served to ensure and to perpetuate unlikely interpretations of the sonnets.

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The Victorian Cult of Shakespeare
Bardology in the Nineteenth Century
, pp. 80 - 102
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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