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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: August ::
Sonnet 89
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1543  Tuesday, 17 August 2004

[1]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Aug 2004 14:09:05 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1537 Sonnet 89

[2]     From:   Dan Decker <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Aug 2004 09:37:05 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1537 Sonnet 89

[3]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Aug 2004 10:06:46 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1537 Sonnet 89


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Aug 2004 14:09:05 +0100
Subject: 15.1537 Sonnet 89
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1537 Sonnet 89

Don Bloom writes ...

 >Peter Bridgman, at the end of his paragraph suggesting that Auden
 >suppressed his true feelings about the homoerotic possibilities in the
 >Sonnets, writes ....

My paragraph?  I thought I made it very clear I was quoting from
Katherine Duncan Jones' introduction to the Arden edition of the Sonnets.

Peter Bridgman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dan Decker <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Aug 2004 09:37:05 EDT
Subject: 15.1537 Sonnet 89
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1537 Sonnet 89

I'd like to submit the following line of thought for your consideration.
While some links are stronger than others, taken overall it makes a
compelling argument:

Not only does WS leave a clear trail in the sonnets as to what little
regard, even contempt, he has for the young Earl HW, (see previous
posting), there are also clear indications that the central, and
overlooked, player in the whole sonnet drama was HW's mother, Lady Mary.

The sonnet saga begins and ends with Lady Mary. It was she who felt the
greatest need to have HW marry Burleigh's granddaughter, lest Burleigh
seek retribution against the House of Southampton. She wrote that she'd
do everything she could to make that marriage happen.

In pursuit of her need to have her self-absorbed, metrosexual son HW
marry this particular girl, Lady Mary either asked or hired her distant
cousin WS to write sonnets to HW to persuade him that he needs to ensure
the survival of his house by having children. WS refers directly to Lady
Mary in sonnet #3, "Thou art thy mother's glass," so the connection is
strong.

(Lady Mary's request is echoed later in WS' life when his landlady,
Marie Mountjoy, asks WS to intercede with a certain young man and help
arrange the marriage Marie's daughter to her chosen swain. WS ended up
in court over that one, but at least he didn't have to write a book of
sonnets this time.)

Later, as WS kept writing sonnets for HW and others, Lady Mary asked
that WS send her all the sonnets, as she loved his poetry. He was happy
to comply; she was beautiful, older than he, fabulous, and he was most
probably in love with her.

I would also submit that the mysterious sonnet 107, "Not mine own fears,
nor..." was not written about the death of Eliza many years out of
context of the rest of the sonnets as is often argued, but was written
about the death of Lady Mary's second husband, (the fossil Lord Heneage
whom she married to save her estate from the ruinous track upon which
young fool HW had put it), and upon the occasion of Lady Mary's return
home. Lady Mary is the mortal moon who has endured her eclipse.

However, Lord Heneage's funeral meats did coldly furnish the wedding
feast, as she immediately was wed once again to Mr. WH. That was in
'95-6, broke WS' heart (again) and he no longer sent her his sonnets,
finally bringing about the end of the sonnet series as we know it today.
(That is not to say WS didn't write more.)

That also coincides with the disappearance of rose metaphors from WS'
work, and the disappearance of the various and recurring Rosalinds in
the plays. WS had taken leave of both mother and son of the House of Roses.

The sonnet saga ends as the sonnets first appear in print shortly after
the death of Lady Mary. The printer TT's dedication of them is to WH,
the initials of Lady Mary's surviving final husband. Seems easy to
connect that WH took the sonnets from wherever she kept them and made a
few extra shillings by selling them to TT.

TT, for his part, after dedicating them to WH, printed them in the order
in which WH gave them to him, which would be in the order that Lady Mary
put them with her tiny white hands. Three piles: the original
procreation series; the sonnets to HW and his pals (and to Mary
herself); and the sexual sonnets to the women WS was bedding. Lady Mary
would separate them that way.

Yr Obt Svt,
DD

PS. I have a complete essay prepared on this topic if anyone is interested.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Aug 2004 10:06:46 -0400
Subject: 15.1537 Sonnet 89
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1537 Sonnet 89

The notion that Shakespeare was (may have been) homosexual was certainly
familiar to me, a layman, by the later 1960's, and, for what it's worth,
I'm not gay, and, at that time, had no openly gay acquaintances.

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