The article “The Voices of Life and Death in Shakespeare’s Narrative Poems” uses Shakespeare’s dedications and Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece to discuss art and life, death and life, life-writing and death-writing. The relation between life and art, often framed in terms of mimesis, is fraught with difficulties, so that the connection between ethics and aesthetics is intricate. After briefly discussing the theoretical debate on mimesis, this article examines closely Shakespeare’s narrative poems, to discuss life and death as well as, to some extent, health, illness. The poems explore the themes of time, love, lust and death in speaking about life, in having a speaker create a narrative of life and death. Poems are about voice and this article examines how voices represent the life of the speaker (narrator, characters) in relation to the reader. Then and now, matters of life and death, have many facets, so these elements of life-writing, including death-writing, are multiplicitous and this article will try to suggest some aspects of the variety of representations, voices and responses.
Hart, Jonathan Locke
"The Voices of Life and Death in Shakespeare’s Narrative Poems."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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