Shakespeare is a major influence on poets writing in English, but
the dynamics of that influence in the twentieth century have never
been as closely analysed as they are in this important study. More
than an account of the ways in which Shakespeare is figured in both
the poetry and the critical prose of modern poets, this book
presents a provocative new view of poetic interrelationship.
Focusing on W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes and
Sylvia Plath, Neil Corcoran uncovers the relationships - combative
as well as sympathetic - between these poets themselves as they are
intertwined in their engagements with Shakespeare. Corcoran offers
many enlightening close readings, fully alert to contemporary
theoretical debates. This original study of influence and reception
beautifully displays the nature of poetic influence - both of
Shakespeare on the twentieth century, and among modern poets as
they respond to Shakespeare.
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