Sociopoetics in the Works of Shakespeare

Thomas Bechtold


This study is meant to develop an immanent critique following the dialogism of socio-poetics in the literary criticism of Mikhail Bakhtin. Socio-poetics in the reception and composition of Shakespeare’s works reflect the first intimations of social and political transformation to a modern nationalized society from a premodern feudal society. This study explores Shakespeare’s use of metaphor through his dramatizations and characterizations at the dawn of modernity and the decline of feudalism: identifying contradictions and tensions that intimate this transformation in English society and language, and, providing an approach to this globalizing language that partakes in simultaneous modes of confabulation and possible de-commodification of that language through an understanding founded in a socio-poetics. Shakespeare’s unique historical position in delimiting later formations of the English language, his composition of modes of reference and literacy, also prepares a potential critique of the contemporary use of figurative language in the present socio-political moment.


Dialogism; Sociopoetics; Shakespeare

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ISSN: 1930-014X