What’s in a sonnet? Musical potential, says Shakespeare admirer Paul Kelly

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It’s a heavy thing to lug around, but over his 30-year career the musician Paul Kelly has kept his three volumes of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, weighing 20kg, close by.

“He’s my favourite writer by a long streak,” says Kelly, one of Australia’s most literate of songwriters, who has drawn on writers such as Raymond Carver in his own work.

“In high school we studied Macbeth and it grabbed my attention straight away. It’s a good play for teenagers: death, blood, sex and betrayal, a lot of it set at night. It’s a world of extremes.”

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