‘Full to Overflowing’

This edition of the sonnets is a heroic enterprise. Facsimiles of the 154 poems from the 1609 Quarto, printed opposite tactfully modernized versions, are followed by 403 densely packed pages of “analytic commentary.” The amount of attention that has been given to Shakespeare’s slim volume is staggering. Hyder Rollins assembled …

Is There Hope for English?

Richard Ohmann’s English in America: A Radical View is a very insistent book. It insists that the English teaching profession serves destructive capitalism and cannot do anything else unless “we teach politically with revolution as our end.” Wallace Douglas contributes a chapter on “Rhetoric for the Meritocracy” in which he …

Magical and Mundane Shakespeare

Years of courtly and esoteric studies have made Frances Yates, vicariously, a learned Renaissance courtier, skilled in the allegory of royal pageants, a great reader of the political implications of tapestries, a sympathetic invisible witness at the dinner party in London at which Giordano Bruno expounded his theory of the …