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dc.contributor.authorTregear, Ted
dc.identifier.citationTregear , T 2023 , ' Shakespeare's metaphysical poem : allegory, metaphysics, and aesthetics in 'The Phoenix and Turtle' ' , Review of English Studies , vol. Advance Article , hgad055 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 289030543
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: d79d1b34-3dac-4e4a-a906-5b49529f3fba
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85175418610
dc.description.abstractLong treated as a poetic curio or a biographical riddle, Shakespeare’s poetic contribution to the 1601 Loves Martyr—usually known as ‘The Phoenix and Turtle’—has recently been reclaimed as an experiment in metaphysical poetry. This essay sets out to ask what that means: for the poem, for metaphysical poetry, and for metaphysics itself. It argues that Shakespeare draws on the language of metaphysics, and its canonical problems, to test the relationship between poetic and philosophical thinking. It follows the poem as it charts the efforts, and failures, of both allegory and metaphysics to apprehend the thought-defying love between phoenix and turtle. It shows how that love engages the dilemma of the particular and the universal, a dilemma native to metaphysics since Aristotle, but felt most acutely in the realm of aesthetic experience. And it suggests that, in sounding out the limits of metaphysical reason, Shakespeare’s poem allows for poetry to think in a way that metaphysics cannot. ‘The Phoenix and Turtle’ ends in mourning: for the death of phoenix and turtle, and for the demise of the metaphysical transcendentals they seemed in hindsight to uphold. That mourning might nonetheless offer poetry its vocation, as the space where reason might remember and reflect on the object of its loss.
dc.relation.ispartofReview of English Studiesen
dc.rightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Atribution License (htps://, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.en
dc.subjectPR English literatureen
dc.titleShakespeare's metaphysical poem : allegory, metaphysics, and aesthetics in 'The Phoenix and Turtle'en
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Englishen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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