Shakespeare and Donne: Generic Hybrids and the Cultural Imaginary

By Judith H. Anderson; Jennifer C. Vaught | Go to book overview

2.
“Nothing like the Sun”: Transcending
Time and Change in Donne’s Love Lyrics
and Shakespeare’s Plays

CATHERINE GIMELLI MARTIN

Where’s that palace whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not? Who has that breast so pure …?

The Tragedy of Othello

Kathryn Kremen defines the Western conception of the hieros gamos (sacred marriage) as a way of imagining the “sexual union of man and woman on earth” to be a prefiguration of “the hypostatical union in body and soul of man and the Godhead in heaven.”1 Even completely nonreligious love lyrics such as Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 often reflect this idealized vision of sexuality: “[N]o impediment to the marriage of true minds” exists for soul mates whose love conquers age, time, and every other barrier. Donne’s love lyrics alternatively express this ideal in spiritual as well as in secular terms, but both poets pose significant challenges to Jonathan Dollimore’s claim that the Western love lyric inevitably exalts mutability. Yet the poets themselves are mutable: Donne’s imaginative efforts to transcend time and change seem to accompany his monogamous maturity, while Shakespeare’s mature period produces new and far darker insights into the male desire for unchanging love. Quite possibly influenced by Montaigne, Shakespeare’s middle and late tragedies frequently represent this desire as a deluded and potentially fatal quest.2 His critique is perhaps most obvious in Othello, where, from the moment the tragic hero hails his reunion with Desdemona as a miraculous escape from chance and time, he begins to go astray. After their joint deliverance from the storm, he proclaims that “My soul hath her content so absolute / That not another comfort like to this / Succeeds in unknown fate,” and so to die now “‘Twere … to be most happy” (II.i. 190–92, 188–89). This eerie foreshadowing of Othello’s fatal end is

-38-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Shakespeare and Donne: Generic Hybrids and the Cultural Imaginary
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 294

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.