Shakespeare Quarterly was founded in 1950 by the Shakespeare Association of America. Housed and published by the Folger Shakespeare Library since 1972 and in association with George Washington University, SQ is the world's foremost journal focusing on all aspects of Shakespeare studies. Older volumes can be found in JSTOR and volumes from 2001 to present can be found in Project Muse.
People often turn to Shakespeare as the undisputed authority on love. Yet, there are so many different kinds of love present in his works: filial, fraternal, romantic, and divine, as well as first (or last), forbidden, unrequited, and true. Each of those loves comes with its own obligations and standards, not all of which are compatible with one another. This class, therefore, seeks to examine these loves by means of a rigorous and romantic investigation of its myriad Shakespearean manifestations and asks whether all such loves can be reconcilable in the world in which we live. It unapologetically asks the big questions: What is true love? What is it worth? What makes a worthy lover or a worthy beloved? How ought one to handle unrequited love? And, are all illicit loves wrong?
The class will operate on two parts verbal seduction and one part an earnest desire to know (you bring this) as played out in our own literary coterie--in Elizabethan fashion, of course. Within our coterie, you will also be a part of a great exchange of letters which contain your musings, your analyses, and your explorations of this literature of love. As a member of this erudite crowd, you will speak and write cogently about the nature of love without sounding like a fool...except when you want to. And, by the mid-point of the semester, you will deliver and interpret with emotion and understanding one of Shakespeare's sonnets. By the end, you will be able to do the same for one (or more) of your own.