Shakespeare's first sonnet: Reading through repetitions

Yair Neuman

Abstract

Repetition is of interest to both psychoanalysis and poetry. In this paper, I read Shakespeare's first sonnet through a unique form of repetition – the rhyme. More specifically, and from a semiotic perspective, I read the rhyme in Shakespeare's sonnet as a sign uncovering unconscious conflicts concerning objects' relations. This interpretation locates banned masturbation, a major theme of the sonnet, within three resonating threads: the socio-cultural context, the psychological context of internal object relationships, and the context of poetic creativity.

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The official journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, founded in 1969 as one of the first scholarly journals in the field, Semiotica features articles reporting results of research in all branches of semiotic studies, in-depth reviews of selected current literature in the field, and occasional guest editorials and reports. The journal also publishes occasional Special Issues devoted to topics of particular interest.

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