Rethinking Shakespeare’s Skepticism: The Aesthetics of Doubt in the Sonnets and PlaysSuzanne M. Tartamella $70.00
Published in January 2014 | cloth | ISBN 978-0-8207-0467-8
“Rather than looking at Shakespeare’s religious doubt, Tartamella is concerned with Shakespeare’s skepticism regarding the natural goodness of humankind. The research and learning of the study are commendable, the writing is professional, and the insights are welcome. . . . Recommended. All readers.” — Choice
“An impressive and inspiring achievement. Tartamella discusses the sonnets in ways that are at once precise, persuasive, and game-changing. They will never look the same again.” — Anita Gilman Sherman, American University
“Taking seriously the propensity of a poetry of praise and blame to turn its regard on itself, Tartamella traces a deeply rhetorical (rather than intellectual or social) element of doubt in the poems and plays, which she figures as the skeptical canker within the epideictic rose.” —SEL Studies in English Literature 1500–1900
Tartamella casts new light on seemingly quite familiar material — Shakespeare’s Sonnets and a number of his plays, including Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, and Antony and Cleopatra. By placing the Sonnets within the context of the literary history of praise poetry, and exploring the underlying influence of early modern skepticism on Shakespeare’s writing, this book truly enhances our understanding of the subtleties and complexities in all of Shakespeare’s work.
SUZANNE M. TARTAMELLA is assistant professor of English at Henderson State University and previously taught at Gettysburg College. Her work has previously appeared in English Literary Renaissance; this is her first book.