Lloyd Davis Memorial Public Lecture
“What Shall Cordelia Speak?: The Politics of Blank Verse”
Starting from Cordelia’s question in King Lear, this lecture will examine the relationship between Shakespeare’s poetry and early modern ideas about unconstrained, “free” speech at a time when neither eloquence nor plain speaking could secure the right to speak one’s mind. The presentation will explore the connection between poetic fluency with the specifically political idea of unfettered speech. Professor Callaghan will argue that the technical constraints of Shakespeare’s verse paradoxically work not only to a authorize freedom of expression but also to question ideological and political restriction.
About the Presenter
Her most recent books are Who Was William Shakespeare? (2013) and Hamlet: Language and Writing (2015). She is the editor of the book series Arden Language and Writing, and co-editor, with Michael Dobson of the Palgrave Shakespeare monograph series. Currently, she is co-editing with Suzanne Gossett, Shakespeare in Our Time, a volume prepared on behalf of the Shakespeare Association of America to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Among other current projects, she is writing about the relationship between poetic fluency and freedom of speech.
RSVP to Brittany Smethills for catering purposes (firstname.lastname@example.org)