Event Title

Two Selves in Shakespeare's Sonnets

Presenter Information

Johnna St. Cyr, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Davis 306

Start Date

30-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2015 3:25 PM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

In her introduction the the Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets Helen Vendler argues that the sonnet mimics a mind in solitary thought, and she claims a poem should represent feelings and thoughts (1, 16). Yet human thoughts and emotions are disordered where the sonnet is highly ordered. My project explores how the controlled form functions to contain the turbulent, unrestrained content of the human mind. In my exploration of Vendler's argument about mimicry, I will use insights from psychologist Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow, and his theory that humans have two selves: an experiencing and remembering self. I want to explores how this psychological idea connects to poetry. If Vendler is right and poetry mimics thoughts thought and feelings felt, which self is doing the feelings, and which self is doing the writing, and what role does this play in our reading of sonnets? I will explore how these two selves function in Shakespeare's sonnets, and explore how the sonnet form mimics thoughts, feelings, and memory. I will present on my findings, and show how form and content, experience and memory, and thoughts and feelings are inextricably linked and reflected in the sonnet form.

Faculty Sponsor

Elizabeth Sagaser

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. English Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Humanities

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1700

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Apr 30th, 2:30 PM Apr 30th, 3:25 PM

Two Selves in Shakespeare's Sonnets

Davis 306

In her introduction the the Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets Helen Vendler argues that the sonnet mimics a mind in solitary thought, and she claims a poem should represent feelings and thoughts (1, 16). Yet human thoughts and emotions are disordered where the sonnet is highly ordered. My project explores how the controlled form functions to contain the turbulent, unrestrained content of the human mind. In my exploration of Vendler's argument about mimicry, I will use insights from psychologist Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow, and his theory that humans have two selves: an experiencing and remembering self. I want to explores how this psychological idea connects to poetry. If Vendler is right and poetry mimics thoughts thought and feelings felt, which self is doing the feelings, and which self is doing the writing, and what role does this play in our reading of sonnets? I will explore how these two selves function in Shakespeare's sonnets, and explore how the sonnet form mimics thoughts, feelings, and memory. I will present on my findings, and show how form and content, experience and memory, and thoughts and feelings are inextricably linked and reflected in the sonnet form.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/287