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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Portrait of Southampton
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1136  Thursday, 25 April 2002

From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Wednesday, 24 Apr 2002 20:42:58 -0400
Subject: 13.1122 Re: Portrait of Southampton
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1122 Re: Portrait of Southampton

While awaiting the outcome of the debate, the assertion that the
painting is HW wearing rouge and lipstick, and HW is WH, and WH is the
young man addressed in the sonnets puts a new spin on lines such as:

20
[1]     A Womans face with natures owne hand painted,
[2]     Ha{{s}t}e thou the Ma{{s}t}er Mi{{s}t}ris of my pa{{s}{s}i}on,

21
[1]     SO is it not with me as with that Mu{s}e,
[2]     Stird by a painted beauty to his ver{s}e,

67
[5]     Why {{s}h}ould fal{s}e painting immitate his cheeke,
[6]     And {{s}t}eale dead {s}eeing of his liuing hew?
[7]     Why {{s}h}ould poore beautie indire{ct}ly {s}eeke,
[8]     Ro{s}es of {{s}h}addow,{{s}i}nce his Ro{s}e is true?

82
[13]       And their gro{{s}{s}}e painting might be better v{s}'d,
[14]       Where cheekes need blood,in thee it is abu{s}'d.

83
[1]     I Neuer {s}aw that you did painting need,
[2]     And therefore to your faire no painting {s}et,

The Times cites sonnet 20 for the "woman's face" but fails to
acknowledge the double sense of "painted." These lines have seemed to me
to say that his natural beauty is the pattern, map, stamp of nature that
women attempt to achieve with wigs and makeup. Now it seems they
(especially the last two) may be statements of disapproval of his
resorting to false painting himself.

Clifford

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