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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
Prologue to the Sonnets
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1478  Wednesday, 7 September 2005

From: 		
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Date: 		Tuesday, 6 Sep 2005 11:21:31 EDT
Subject: 	Prologue to the Sonnets

I have an enormous interest in Shakespeare's Sonnets.  I have written a 
book on the subject and rather than print it, I want to put my 
conclusions up to the membership, hoping they will add constructive 
criticisms.

I am willing to discuss any theory held by any member in the group.  My 
theory asserts that A Lover's Complaint is the Prologue to the Sonnets, 
that the "fickle maid" of the poem, telling her woeful tale to a 
shepherd, a total stranger, of her seduction by a very young aristocrat, 
is the very same person called the "dark lady," none other than the Muse 
of Tragedy, Melpomene, the "carcass of a beauty spent and done," who, 
"reconciled," (ALC 329) enters the sonnets as "that Muse" of sonnet 21, 
and having helped the young "Lord of my love" create his alter ego in 
his "glass," writes him the letter of sonnet 26, steals away his alter 
ego, (S 41,42) and spitefully, makes the lord so miserable, he 
contemplates suicide and bemoans the loss of his silent alter ego in 
sonnet 74 and its couplet:

      "The worth of that is that which it contains,
      And that is this, and this with thee remains."

Scatologically and beautifully expressed, with an anagram of "this" the 
"dregs," the worthless part, "the better part of me," the "remains."

Once one knows the story, it all falls into place. Understandable to 
those willing to learn and willing to add to my take of the masterpieces 
in which the Bard appears in a dual role, playing "in singleness the 
parts" (S  8.8) of a new Narcissus and his Image, "A liquid prisoner 
pent in walls of glass." (S  5.10) And more to come in the climax when 
the Muse finally shows herself as "one on another's neck." (S 131.11) I 
am willing to be taught, if you are equally willing.  Please permit me 
to listen to you all, quietly, for a  while.

Respectfully,
Sid Lubow

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