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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

I first propose a new context for examining the sonnets and then scrutinize some verbal features of the poems with that context in mind. The context is visual design in the second half of the 16th century: the cultural commitment to arrangement in Tudor England is visible in furniture, textiles, gardening, and to a certain degree in painting, but especially in architecture, particularly Elizabethan domestic architecture. The feature I analyse is a species of poetic ornament: literal and lexical forms of repetition. My aim is to identify the increasing devotion to order in Elizabethan visual culture with the manifest delight in patterning exhibited in Shakespeare’s sonnets and shared by all the imaginative writers of the period.

Keywords: sonnet, architecture, pattern, symmetry, correspondence, repetition

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