Skepticism and Memory in Shakespeare and Donne

Anita Gilman Sherman
PhD, 2003
Palgrave Macmillan, 2007

This book argues that in the course of grappling with skepticism, Shakespeare and Donne revolutionize the art of memory and discover an art of doubt.  Topics important to students of Renaissance literature—such as mimesis, exemplarity, pastoral and typology—become transformed, seen now as a set of vital responses to the incursion of skeptical doubt. By discussing the aesthetics of memorialization, the representation of collective memory, and ideas of women as countermonuments, the book investigates how Donne and Shakespeare respond to epistemological uncertainty. The book should interest admirers of Shakespeare and Donne as well as those intrigued by Stanley Cavell and the avenues he has opened up for a new philosophical literary criticism.