Neil L. Rudenstine: Ideas of Order (2014)
Author Neil Rudenstine discusses Ideas of Order: A Close Reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Rudenstine, a former Harvard University president and an Elizabethan scholar, revealed an underlying structure within the 154 poems that inspires a new understanding of this complex masterpiece.
Ideas of Order is an indispensable guide to Shakespeare’s sonnets. The greatest single work of lyric poetry in English, the sonnets are as passionate, daring, intimate, and fiery as any love poems we may encounter.
Neil L. Rudenstine makes a compelling case for the existence of a dramatic arc within the work through an engaging examination of the poems in relationship to each other: the jealousies, petty squabbles, reconciliations, discoveries, and longings. The sonnets show us a poet in turmoil who falls for a young man who returns his affections—and the love is utterly transformative, binding him in such an irresistible way that it survives a number of heartbreaks.
A book signing and wine reception followed.