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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: July ::
Sonnet 89
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1433  Thursday, 15 July 2004

[1]     From:   Stephen C. Rose <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Jul 2004 07:38:44 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1425 Sonnet 89

[2]     From:   Ira Zinman <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Jul 2004 11:16:15 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1425 Sonnet 89--A Deeper Level of interpretation

[3]     From:   W.L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Jul 2004 16:01:57 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1425 Sonnet 89


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen C. Rose <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Jul 2004 07:38:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1425 Sonnet 89
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1425 Sonnet 89

Thanks for these responses, Ward's in particular.  Expanded knowledge of
the sonnets was my aim and this note was most helpful.

I am aware of Shakespeare's prolific use of supposition, but this jumped
out at me, and it would seem unusual to select this from the
imagination's menu of potential  set-ups.

So while it is perhaps safe to say on the face of it that this is a
supposition, Ward's interesting note lends some substance to an actual
lameness having existed.

I'm glad I asked and grateful for the responses.

Best, S

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ira Zinman <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Jul 2004 11:16:15 EDT
Subject: 15.1425 Sonnet 89--A Deeper Level of interpretation
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1425 Sonnet 89--A Deeper Level of interpretation

I agree Hardy with your comment that it is often tenuous to read an
"autobiographical" meaning into the Sonnets.

Personally, I believe the Sonnets are written on various levels of
meaning as we see in the plays.  These are from the plain meaning,
allegorical, moral, and more esoteric, as Dante and Spenser have
described.  In that sense, Sonnet 89 may be viewed as follows where the
Sonnet reads:

"Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault, And I will comment upon
that offence: Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt, Against
thy reasons making no defence"

Lameness is then written about as a fault in character or other human
trait, and then in that deeper context might well mean:

Suppose that Thou didst forsake me because of my own faults, I
immediately would comment upon my shortcoming, admit my error, and make
no defense against Thy just action.

On a deeper level of interpretation then the Sonnets theme might be read as:

THEME: one desirous of uprooting ego faults must not make excuses for
engaging in wrongful conduct.  One admits the fault and then by
definitive action, like an honest admission, resolves to move forward.
And I will comment upon that offence: Speak of my lameness, and I
straight will halt,

  I have enjoyed reading this thread, and thank you all for your
comments.

Regards to All,
Ira Zinman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Jul 2004 16:01:57 -0400
Subject: 15.1425 Sonnet 89
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1425 Sonnet 89

Hyder Rollins in the New Variorum of The Sonnets, Volume 1, 105-07,
223-24, reviews the issue of Shakespeare's lameness, but Stephen Booth
in Shakespeare's Sonnets is dismissive as is Duncan-Jones. As they say,
it's a pretty lame argument that Shakespeare was actually lame. On the
other hand, Ward Elliott could well be right.

Bill Godshalk

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