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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: August ::
Sonnet 89
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1547  Wednesday, 18 August 2004

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 17 Aug 2004 13:19:21 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1543 Sonnet 89

[2]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 17 Aug 2004 07:49:00 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1543 Sonnet 89


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <
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Date:           Tuesday, 17 Aug 2004 13:19:21 +0100
Subject: 15.1543 Sonnet 89
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1543 Sonnet 89

 >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.

Yet another pretty story to explain the Sonnets, with as little actual
evidence to support it as any other.

Some of the claims in the last paragraph, however, look a bit odd.  The
Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, for example, dates "As You Like It"
(with the only Rosalind - and one far more important than the two
Rosalines of "Romeo and Juliet" and "Love's Labours Lost) to 1599-1600,
which would put it almost certainly after the January 1598/1599 wedding
of William Harvey and the Countess.  "Hamlet" (c. 1600-1601) contains at
least as many "rose" metaphors as any other play (Ophelia is the "rose
of May", Hamlet is the "rose of the fair state", Hamlet accuses Gertrude
of having "take[n] off the rose / From the fair forehead of an innocent
love"), except for those which deal with the War of the Roses (with much
talk of red and white roses for obvious reasons entirely unrelated to
Shakespeare's possible personal life) and one extra in "Midsummer
Night's Dream" (which contains as many as four rose metaphors).
"Othello" (1603-1604) contains at least one, so does "Antony and
Cleopatra" (1606), "Winter's Tale" (1609), "Timon of Athens" (1605), and
"Pericles" (1607).  "As You Like It" contains only one or two such
metaphors (depending on whether you count one as a mere abbreviation of
Rosalind's name), and "Romeo and Juliet" only two, despite both of these
being supposedly "rose plays" by this theory.

This is hardly indicative of a huge change within the plays after
January 1599.  On the contrary, the rose metaphors certainly don't stop
and continue in much the same numbers thereafter, especially considering
that "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "As You Like It" are ruralised
comedies where one might expect more positive natural images such as
flower metaphors.

Of course there are more rose metaphors in the poems, but this is
because of their genre rather than anything else.  Shakespeare
apparently did not write poems after 1599, except possibly many of the
Sonnets themselves, which would counter this argument entirely.

Thomas Larque.
"Shakespeare and His Critics"       "British Shakespeare Association"
http://shakespearean.org.uk           http://britishshakespeare.ws

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Tuesday, 17 Aug 2004 07:49:00 -0500
Subject: 15.1543 Sonnet 89
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1543 Sonnet 89

My apologies to Peter Bridgman.

He quotes me

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

and goes on to note

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

I backchecked the posting and indeed it is very clear that he was
quoting KDJ. But then, as my wife can tell you, I can look at almost
anything and not see it.

The larger question, however, remains: What on earth was *she* talking
about?

That is, was there something significantly different about the theories
of homoeroticism that developed after 1985, as compared to those before?
She seems an unlikely person to have made so simple and obvious a mistake.

Cheers,
don

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