© 2012

Shakespeare and the Truth of Love

The Mystery of ‘The Phoenix and Turtle’


Part of the Palgrave Shakespeare Studies book series (PASHST)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. James P. Bednarz
    Pages 1-18
  3. James P. Bednarz
    Pages 19-48
  4. James P. Bednarz
    Pages 103-139
  5. James P. Bednarz
    Pages 140-162
  6. James P. Bednarz
    Pages 163-191
  7. James P. Bednarz
    Pages 192-197
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 198-251

About this book


A comprehensive study of Shakespeare's forgotten masterpiece The Phoenix and Turtle . Bednarz confronts the question of why one of the greatest poems in the English language is customarily ignored or misconstrued by Shakespeare biographers, literary historians, and critics.


English language poem William Shakespeare

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Long Island UniversityUSA

About the authors

JAMES P. BEDNARZ is Professor of English at Long Island University, USA, where he has received the Trustees' Award for Excellence in Scholarship and the David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is the author of Shakespeare and the Poets' War (2001). He has published widely in international journals and contributed chapters to a number of high profile collections on Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Bibliographic information


'Plausible and outlandish theories alike are recounted extensively and entertainingly [ ] a delicate and nuanced investigation of the poem's philosophy. [ ] Bednarz's book seeks not to explain the poem so much as to define mystery as one of its integral aesthetic qualities. This it does successfully: by making no claims to be definitive, Shakespeare and the Truth of Love renders a great poem more intriguing and provocative than ever.' Hazel Wilkinson, Times Literary Supplement

'Bednarz provides a detailed examination of allegorical and metaphysical readings of Shakespeare's rarely taught 67-line poem...Highly recommended.' CHOICE