“What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?”
In this course we will immerse ourselves in the major works of Shakespeare’s poetry: the Sonnets; his Neoclassical poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece; A Lover’s Complaint; and several poems from the plays. While we expand our understanding of Shakespeare’s themes, strategies, and techniques in the poems, we will examine the critical reception of these works, including biographical, Feminist, Queer Theory, and Post-structural approaches. We will also read a selection of sonnets by past and present masters of the form.