Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Quick Update

My topic, just to remind everyone, is love/romance in Shakespeare. Some of you have suggested that I narrow my topic to just one play, or one specific idea. I thank you for your contributions. I don't think I've narrowed things down enough yet, but there are three main areas I'm interested in. Dr. Burton told me to contact Bruce Young, one of BYU's professors, to request some good sources for my topic. These are the things I told him I would like to research:

  • The societal beliefs and customs concerning sex before marriage and how that topic was usually addressed on and off stage. I want to relate it to the sexual conditioning of our day.
  • The difference between Shakespeare's audiences of his plays vs. his sonnets. I'm trying to figure out what Shakespeare really thought about romantic love. The themes within his sonnets seem to differ greatly from the themes in his plays, and I'm hoping this could give me some insight into what he really believed.
  • And then basically any reliable information on Shakespeare's audience in general. I want to relate his audience to that of Hollywood's and draw some conclusions on what this says about each society.
He hasn't gotten back to me, but for this week I am choosing to focus on the sonnets, specifically sonnet 116. Because the sonnets were directed towards a much more private audience, I'm hoping that they will give me more insight into what Shakespeare really thought about love. I don't trust his plays so much because with those he was just trying to make money.

My main source for becoming acquainted is Shakespeare's Sonnets by Dympna Callaghan. This book is meant to be an introduction to the sonnets and explores a few prominent themes, as well as some history.