Everyone has seen or read Shakespeare’s sonnets. They abound in our popular culture and Western imaginary, from Sense and Sensibility to Shakespeare in Love. But generally speaking, critical opinion cleaves a divide between the sonnets and the rest of Shakespeare’s verse from the canon of his plays.
This paper challenges this perception. The question that motivates it: Is Shakespeare’s verse and drama and incommensurable as we have been led to believe? It is a playful and hopefully provocative poke at literary type-casting, but it also contains a serious sub-text: that we should employ a multi-faceted and flexible approach to Shakespeare that matches the mercurial ingenuity of his writing.