Manage episode 366630218 series 3432788
This episode takes us through a close reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 94, which many consider to be his most enigmatic. Annapolis tutor Eva Brann brings a clear argument to the poem, taking us quatrain by quatrain through the poet’s descriptions of the beloved’s power over the poet through cold detachment and contingent self-mastery. For Brann, the sonnet provides exemplary evidence that “love and logic, passion and thinking, are closely intertwined.” The existence of the sonnet also masterfully enacts its revenge on the stone-cold beloved, whose legacy is defined by the sonnet itself, and its lingering concluding couplet: “For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.” We also explore the idea that the mastery of logic and language—when kindly and thoughtfully wielded—can prevent the passions of human nature from issuing in inarticulate violence and corruption. This episode is hosted by Louis Petrich.