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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Yves Bonnefoy is a key figure in the French literary reception of Shakespeare. This essay explores his interpretations and translations of Shakespeare’s plays and poems, informed by his own poetic vision, anchored in a literary tradition whose high points include Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Bonnefoy argues that Shakespeare finds his poetic voice after experimenting with the sonnet—a genre Bonnefoy considers staid and prone to cliché when Shakespeare took it up. For Bonnefoy Shakespeare begins to come alive as a great poet in As you Like It and Romeo and Juliet; and his supreme achievement is The Winter’s Tale, a play which encompasses the scope of the entire oeuvre and resolves some underlying concerns of the major tragedies while offering a refined appraisal of the relationship between art, nature, and existence apposite to Bonnefoy’s own views about poetry.

Keywords: Yves Bonnefoy, Shakespeare in French, translation studies, Shakespeare’s reception in France

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