Sexual Desire and Romantic Love in Shakespeare: 'Rich in Will' (Hardcover)
Beginning with how the signifier 'will' operates in Shakespearean contexts, this book, unlike other studies, deals fully with how Shakespeare's plays treat the issue of rape and sexual coercion, and how far the plays reflect early modern views on the role of sex and love in marriage. It assesses in more detail than ever before the ways in which heterosexual love relationships in Shakespeare's plays are challenged by homoerotic attraction and same-sex friendships. Joan Lord Hall also explores in depth incestuous currents in the plays: the issue of sexual desire within the family. Referring to every play in the canon as well as to Shakespeare's narrative poems and several sonnets, she explores the dark side of 'will' (rape and sexual coercion) before analysing the playwright's critique of Petrarchan and Neo-Platonic conceptions of love that bypass desire. It also covers his sceptical approach to 'fancy' driven chiefly by visual attraction, presenting a comprehensive, fresh understanding of sexual desire and romantic love in Shakespeare.
About the Author
Joan Lord Hall is Professor Emerita at University of Colorado, Boulder where she taught Shakespeare for the English Department and most recently for the University's Program of Writing and Rhetoric as a senior instructor. Previously she served on the faculty of the University of Lancaster, England, teaching English language and literature and specializing in Renaissance drama. Her publications include The Dynamics of Role-Playing in Jacobean Tragedy (Macmillan, 1991), Henry V: A Guide to the Play (Greenwood Press, 1997), Othello: A Guide to the Play (Greenwood Press, 1999), Antony and Cleopatra: A Guide to the Play (Greenwood Press, 2001), The Winter's Tale: A Guide to the Play (Greenwood Press, 2005) and "'To the Very Heart of Loss' Rival Constructs of 'Heart' in Antony and Cleopatra," College Literature, 18.1 (February 1991): 64-76, "Bill Cain's Equivocation: How 'Truth Must Be Lived'" Contemporary Theatre Review 21:2 (May 2011): 201-12.