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Shakespeare, Love and Language
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What is the nature of romantic love and erotic desire in Shakespeare's work? In this erudite and yet accessible study, David Schalkwyk addresses this question by exploring the historical contexts, theory and philosophy of love. Close readings of Shakespeare's plays and poems are delivered through the lens of historical texts from Plato to Montaigne, and modern writers including Jacques Lacan, Jean-Luc Marion, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jacques Derrida, Alain Badiou and Stanley Cavell. Through these studies, it is argued that Shakespeare has no single or overarching concept of love, and that in Shakespeare's work, love is not an emotion. Rather, it is a form of action and disposition, to be expressed and negotiated linguistically.


'Schalkwyk's arguments are closely reasoned and insightful … Essential.'

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