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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: August ::
Re: Sonnets
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1383  Friday 6 August 1999.

[1]     From:   Dana Wilson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 5 Aug 1999 08:20:53 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1377 Re: Sonnets

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 5 Aug 1999
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1377 Re: Sonnets

[3]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Date: Thursday, 5 Aug 1999
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1377 Re: Sonnets

[4]     From:   Christopher Warley <
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        Date:   Thursday, 05 Aug 1999 17:20:12 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1377 Re: Sonnets

[5]     From:   Susan C Oldrieve <
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        Date:   Thursday, 5 Aug 1999 18:38:04 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1362 Re: Sonnets


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Wilson <
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Date:           Thursday, 5 Aug 1999 08:20:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 10.1377 Re: Sonnets
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1377 Re: Sonnets

Cliff wrote:

> Sonnet 144 tells
> us:
>
> Two loves I have, of comfort and despair,
> Which like two spirits do suggest me still;
> The better angel is a man right fair,
> The worser spirit a woman colored ill.

I would like to point out that 'fair' may refer to fair colored; and
'right' may mean 'healthy' in this context so that the two lines would
be esp well balanced.

Yours,
Dana

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Thursday, 5 Aug 1999
Subject: 10.1377 Re: Sonnets
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1377 Re: Sonnets

>and that only two personae are addressed
>throughout the cycle.

A slightly picky point, but while the Young Man sonnets are addressed to
(or presented in the form of an address to) the assumed recipient, the
Dark Lady sonnets are written about, but not addressed to, their
subject.

Robin Hamilton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Date: Thursday, 5 Aug 1999
Subject: 10.1377 Re: Sonnets
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1377 Re: Sonnets

Hardy Cook writes:

>Of interest, Malone asserted that the first 126 poems were
>addressed to
>a man and then qualified this assertion with "such addresses to
>men,
>however, indelicate, were customary in our author's time, and
>neither
>imported criminality, nor were esteemed indecorous" (20.241).

I was brought up on this, and took it as gospel, till it occurred to me
to ask myself, "Just how customary?"  Dante, Petrarch, Sidney, Spenser,
Drayton, Daniel, Greville ...  We really have to root around a bit till
we find a male addressee other than in Shakespeare's sequence.  And if
such an address were so customary, why the gender-change in the
republication of the poems in 1640?

Robin Hamilton

[Editor's Note: The entire exchange in footnotes on the matter between
Steevens, Malone, and Boswell is fascinating for anyone interested in
the Sonnets reception.  -Hardy]

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christopher Warley <
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Date:           Thursday, 05 Aug 1999 17:20:12 -0400
Subject: 10.1377 Re: Sonnets
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1377 Re: Sonnets

I just wanted to mention the existence of a new collection of essays on
the Sonnets which addresses many of the concerns brought up recently.
Shakespeare's Sonnets: Critical Essays*, ed. James Schiffer (New York
and London: Garland Publishing, 1999).  The essays are all
extraordinarily good and together constitute (sort of) a representative
state-of-the-art of work on the sonnets post Fineman's *Shakespeare's
Perjured Eye*.  Unfortunately, I think it, like most of the volumes in
the Garland series, is extraordinarily expensive and not available in
paper.  But it arrived in the library here a month or so ago.

Chris Warley

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan C Oldrieve <
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Date:           Thursday, 5 Aug 1999 18:38:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.1362 Re: Sonnets
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1362 Re: Sonnets

Has anyone ever suggested that Elizabeth is the Dark Lady of the
sonnets?  In some ways that makes more sense to me than trying to see
her as the recipient of the "young man" sonnets.

Susan Oldrieve
 

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