This introduction provides a concise overview of the central issues and critical responses to Shakespeare s sonnets, looking at the themes, images, and structure of his work, as well as the social and historical circumstances surrounding their creation.
Explores the biographical mystery of the identities of the characters addressed.
Examines the intangible aspects of each sonnet, such as eroticism and imagination.
A helpful appendix offers a summary of each poem with descriptions of key literary figures.
Dympna Callaghan holds the Dean s Chair in the Humanities at Syracuse University. She has been awarded major fellowships at the Newberry and Folger Libraries and at the Getty Research Institute, and she is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Her publications include
The Impact of Feminism in English Renaissance Culture (2006),
Romeo and Juliet: Texts and Contexts (2003),
The Duchess of Malfi: Contemporary Critical Essays (2000),
Shakespeare Without Women (2000),
A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare (Blackwell, 2000) - winner of Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book,
Feminist Readings in Early Modern Culture (edited with E. Lindsay Kaplan and Valerie Traub 1996),
The Weyward Sisters: Shakespeare and Feminist Politics (with Lorraine Helms and Jyotsna Singh, 1994), and
Woman and Gender in Renaissance Tragedy (1989). She is currently editing
The Oxford Anthology of Early Modern English Verse.