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Auteurs & Autrices :
  • Claret Jean-Louis
Mots-clés :
  • Gender
  • Love letter
  • Poetry
  • Rhyme
  • Siege
  • Verse
  • War

Résumé :

Writing poems was part and parcel of love relationships in Renaissance England. Yet the use of this major ingredient was sometimes called into question by authors attached to a higher conception of the poetical art. The ingrained artificiality of rhymed verse is, they declared, a major obstacle to the expression of sincere sentiments. Yet on the stage, poems were used profusely and their rich potential was a major dramatic asset. Often used in comedies, they can become letters the male lovers send discretely to the ladies they want to conquer. Love’s Labour’s Love is no exception and it draws marvellously upon the translation of sincere love into words. But in Shakespeare’s play, the besieged women remain unaffected by the sweet blows dealt by the infatuated soldiers. Not only do they stand aloof, but they even become the pitiless torturers of the victimised young men. The love letters fail to achieve their end; they are undermined by a series of conventional role-plays that take place between the male and the female polarities. And the women are the better strategists. As the play draws to its end, the characters symptomatically feel the need to quit rhymed poetry and to resort to ‘Honest plain words.’ (V,2.727) Now can they speak!

Type de document : Journal articles