Shakespeare in Love. Anatoly Liberman: Thursdays at Four, Nov. 20, 2014
Shakespeare In Love
November 20, 2014, at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room — 240 Northrop
A talk by Anatoly Liberman, German, Scandinavian and Dutch, University of Minnesota
Shakespeare’s sonnets tell us a story of his love for a “fair youth” and an adulterous woman. The characters are also entangled in a love triangle. Attempts to guess who the addressees were have been unsuccessful. Nor are we interested in those people’s identities.
It is the psychological drama that rivets our attention, a drama that is absorbing because the poetry is so good; it is at the level of Shakespeare’s best plays. The handsome hero of the first romance is a paragon of virtue. By contrast, the heroine is black of face and vicious. Her beauty is that of a witch. The first cycle is about the torture and blessing of love, the second about the irresistible temptation and torture of sex. The talk will provide a window into the greatest tragedy of Shakespeare’s life.
Professor Liberman has published widely across the spectrum of Germanic linguistics, but his primary interest has been the history of English words. His many works include the recent publication of a popular book for lay readers entitled Word Origins… and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone (2005), as well as An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology (2008), and A Bibliography of English Etymology (2009).
Professor Liberman spoke in 2012 on Translating Poetry, Or, Versifying with an Accent and in 2014 on The Origins of Humor and also contributes regular posts to the Oxford University Press’s Oxford Etymologist blog.