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The Rift in The LuteAttuning Poetry and Philosophy$
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Maximilian de Gaynesford

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198797265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198797265.001.0001

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Doing Time

Doing Time

Chapter:
(p.235) 17 Doing Time
Source:
The Rift in The Lute
Author(s):

Maximilian de Gaynesford

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198797265.003.0018

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 49 is equally subtle in its study of the turn from inertia to determined action. It reflects explicitly on poetry as a form of action. It examines tensions and contradictions that arise in our experience of the flow of time. It explores the significance of philosophical problems about action and identity over time. Identifying the complexity in this apparently simple poem depends on registering the difficulty in grasping the exact sense of a Chaucer-type utterance. The occurrence of phrases of this sort leaves it unclear whether the verb-components name acts that the speaker might perform in uttering the phrases. This puts pressure on the first-person components and threatens to split that to which they refer.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, Sonnets, Chaucer-type, action, time, identity, first person

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