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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
Roses
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1445  Thursday, 1 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Gabriel Egan <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 31 Aug 2005 09:21:12 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1433 Roses

[2] 	From: 	David Basch <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 31 Aug 2005 16:23:03 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1433 Roses


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 31 Aug 2005 09:21:12 +0100
Subject: 16.1433 Roses
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1433 Roses

Dan Decker wrote

 >Stylistically the sonnets are congruent with the plays
 >reliably dated to '90-'95.

MacDonald P. Jackson has published a series of articles presenting 
stylometric evidence that sonnets 127-54 were written first, in the 
early 1590s, then sonnets 61-103 in the late 1590s, then sonnets 1-60 in 
the early 1600s, then sonnets 104-126 after 1605.

See his:

"Rhymes and Shakespeare's _Sonnets_: Evidence of date of composition" 
Notes and Queries 244 (1999) pages 213-219

"Vocabulary and chronology: The case of Shakespeare's sonnets" Review of 
English Studies 52 (2001) pages 59-75

"Dating Shakespeare's sonnets: Some old evidence revisited" Notes and 
Queries 247 (2002) pages 237-241

 >There is no evidence to the contrary as to when the
 >sonnets were written.

Even a sceptic would concede that Jackson's work listed above shows that 
the sonnets to the Friend (104-126) must have been written in the 
seventeenth century.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Basch <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 31 Aug 2005 16:23:03 -0400
Subject: 16.1433 Roses
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1433 Roses

Our list does not lack humor as Markus Marti demonstrates in his "Ine 
eye" response to my comment on how this configuration which appears in 
the Sonnet is a hint left by the poet that the friend he addresses is 
"In I," in him, within him. My surmise would indeed be arbitrary and off 
the wall were it not for the fact that it was through many other hints 
and devices that I was led to this conclusion. "Ine eye [In I]" was just 
another confirmation of my findings through one of the poet's many such 
ingenious devices.

But here now is another hint, more direct, of Shakespeare's message that 
the friend he addresses in some of his sonnets is the spirit inside him 
and all of us. See this in the humorous Sonnet 62:

                                       62
         /
   [1]   \ Inne of selfe-loue possesseth al mine eie,
   [2]   / And all my soule,and al my euery part;
   [3]   And for this sinne there is no remedie,
   [4]   It is so grounded inward in my heart.
   [5]   Me thinkes no face so gratious is as mine,
   [6]   No shape so true,no truth of such account,
   [7]   And for my selfe mine owne worth do define,
   [8]   As I all other in all worths surmount.
   [9]   But when my glasse shewes me my selfe indeed
   [10]  Beated and chopt with tand antiquitie,
   [11]  Mine owne selfe loue quite contrary I read
   [12]  Selfe,so selfe louing were iniquity,
   [13]     T'is thee(my selfe)that for my selfe I praise,
   [14]     Painting my age with beauty of thy daies,

Notice line 13 in the couplet:

      T'is thee(my selfe)that for my selfe I praise,
      Painting my age with beauty of thy daies,

Here he again tells that "thee" is himself. So engrossed is he in this 
higher self that it went to his head, obscuring his "age" that revealed 
his wrinkled mortality, and he forgot, like most of us do, that there 
was this terrestrial self that had far to go.

Unfortunately, the professional objectors that only want to see the poet 
in their own image despite what the poet actually wrote will not take 
seriously and literally what the poet is declaring.

The first 17 sonnets are not in contradiction to this view of the 
friend.  In these, the young man is on such a high moral plane that he 
won't deign to reproduce and must be coaxed to do his duty, needing the 
active support of his lower angel to get into the swing of life, 
attractions that are made real and manifest in later sonnets that waken 
his soul slumbering in a one-sided heavenly purity.

Attempts to identify the "friend" as a real person will be frustrated by 
the fact that Shakespeare, using misdirection, gave a few candidates to 
conjur with. This prevents certain identification of a real person and 
hence confusing his grand allegory that his sonnets are, seeing them as 
odes to specific lustful, terrestrial objects. Unless readers begin to 
raise their sights to the possibility of the higher purpose of these 
poems, the poems will not be seen in their true light and exquisite beauty.

No doubt, there are those on the list that see and find interpretation 
for a different Shakespeare. I have my interpretation which I would not 
have had the nerve to present had I not found ample direct evidence to 
lead me to these views. It is hardly being obsessional to argue this 
case and present evidence on a list that has many scholars.

I would note that Kenneth Chen has reached conclusions on a Shakespeare 
that has a high spiritual side and has done so without having to put it 
into a Judaic-Christian context, indicating the universal thrust of the 
poet's message. This is well and good but it seems that this will lack 
the added dimensions that the religious context gives his work since 
this context sheds light on the spiritual meaning of many specific 
references in his work. It is like only knowing some of the 
hieroglyphics of an ancient message. Why deprive ourselves of the chance 
to get all?

Anyway, the matter should be explored but won't be if readers stick to 
limiting preconceptions. This is all right too if enough of his message 
comes through. But for those who are harder to satisfy and are unwilling 
to forever wallow in confusion about what the poet was about, such 
explorations will offer new worlds.

David Basch

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