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Caporicci, Camilla (2018): Black But Yet Fair: The Topos of the Black Beloved from Song of Songs in Shakespeare's Work. In: Shakespeare, Vol. 14, No. 4: pp. 360-373

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Combining a sensual celebration of love with a well-established tradition of allegorical exegesis, the Song of Songs, one of the most poetic and debated among the biblical books, is a text that has played a crucial role in the shaping of love language since the very beginning of Western vernacular literature. Among the many Song-derived topoi, the controversial one of the "black but comely" beloved (Song 1:4-5) proved particularly appealing to Shakespeare. As this study will reveal, not only is the biblical passage echoed in many of his works (1 Henry VI, The Merchant of Venice, Love's Labour's Lost, Antony and Cleopatra, The Sonnets), but it is endowed with a particularly significant role.

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