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Shakespeare’s narrative poems in Poems on Affairs of State (1707) : politics, authorship and literary history

ContributorsAuld, Aleida
Published inShakespeare-Jahrbuch, vol. 158, p. 99-113
Publication date2022

Poems on Affairs of State (1707) marked the first publication of Shakespeare’s Lucrece in over a half century, the first publication of Venus and Adonis in over a quarter century, and their first ever joint publication. Despite these historic markers, Shakespeare’s poems in the context of this volume have never been discussed at length. This article aims to remediate that scholarly gap. It argues that the 1707 publication does not affiliate Shakespeare with any specific ideology, despite what has been previously suggested, and that it gives far more importance to Shakespeare’s poems than has been previously recognized. Given the arrangement of the poems within the volume, Lucrece in particular helps construct a literary history of poems on affairs of state, and it participates in political fictions that neutralize ideology. The article shows, moreover, that Poems on Affairs of State (1707) is not an isolated publication, but rather one that influenced Lucrece’s eighteenth-century reception, even as it looked back to key issues from the previous century. Ultimately, the article suggests that Poems on Affairs of State (1707) is still relevant to critical readings of the politics of Lucrece today.

  • Reception
  • Bibliography
  • Shakespeare
  • Lucrece
  • Venus and Adonis
  • Narrative poems
  • Poems on affairs of state
  • Authorship
Citation (ISO format)
AULD, Aleida. Shakespeare’s narrative poems in Poems on Affairs of State (1707) : politics, authorship and literary history. In: Shakespeare-Jahrbuch, 2022, vol. 158, p. 99–113.
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Article (Accepted version)
  • PID : unige:161084
ISSN of the journal1430-2527

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