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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: August ::
Roses
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1433  Tuesday, 30 August 2005

[1] 	From: 	Robin Hamilton <
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	Date: 	Monday, 29 Aug 2005 13:42:54 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1419 Roses

[2] 	From: 	Dan Decker <
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	Date: 	Monday, 29 Aug 2005 11:18:36 EDT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1419 Roses


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Robin Hamilton <
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Date: 		Monday, 29 Aug 2005 13:42:54 +0100
Subject: 16.1419 Roses
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1419 Roses

 >>Through Sonnet 20, the poet tells how he must approach this
 >>self through a pure love, fitting for a godly higher angel sent
 >>by the Lord to all young men (and to young women too as an
 >>angelic young lady) at the age of twelve or thirteen, which is
 >>part of the allegory that the Sonnets as a whole present." [DB]
 >
 >To this, Larry Weiss quipped:
 >
 >>I see now,  it's a bar mitzvhah sermon.
 >
 >Yes Larry, or a confirmation sermon, which is another way to describe
 >it. Larry correctly sees the nature of Shakespeare's Sonnets allegory
 >but chooses to disparage that which the poet has hallowed.

This is silly.  There's a perfectly obvious logic to the movement of 1-20.

The reader glumly wades through sonnets 1-17 thinking, "Dear god, what's 
all this about?  Not *another* go-get-married sonnet."  When he or she 
reaches 18 -- "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"-they sigh with 
relief: "At long last, a nice straightforward heterosexual love sonnet." 
  Then half-way through 19, the pronoun changes, and worries emerge.  20 
rams the point home that the addressee of 18 is not a woman but a man, 
and the worried reader rereads 18 and thinks, "Hm ... that changes it a 
bit."

This is known as the Virgin Reader approach-what happens when you read a 
text for the first time (which you can only do once) not knowing what 
will happen next?

It's also interesting when applied to +Hamlet+, and is obviously a 
factor in any rereading of +Pride and Prejudice+ where the initial 
(virgin) reading of "That prat Darcy" is replaced by, "Isn't this ever 
so sweet?"

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Dan Decker <
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Date: 		Monday, 29 Aug 2005 11:18:36 EDT
Subject: 16.1419 Roses
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1419 Roses

If it is safe to return to the "Rose" discussion now,

WS might have seen the word ROSE in wRiOSEtheley, regardless of how it 
was pronounced. The whole debate over Risly or Roisly or Rosely is just 
a sideshow.

WS dedicated two works to Henry Earl Wriostheley, 3rd Earl of 
Southampton, and nothing to anyone else. The dedications spoke of the 
love the poet bears for the dedicatee, just as in the sonnets. No one 
else with Rose in their name had anything dedicated to them by the poet.

WS clearly connected fair friend - rose - his name - male gender.

Roses were the symbol of the town of Southampton and were engraved above 
the doors on one of Henry's houses.

WS also puns several times on the word hue. This might refer to Henry 
Earl Wriostheley's monogram.

Stylistically the sonnets are congruent with the plays reliably dated to 
'90-'95. There is no evidence to the contrary as to when the sonnets 
were written.

This date range overlaps with Southampton's refusal to marry. In doing 
so he placed the house of Southampton at risk. This situation is clear 
in the procreation series.

The procreation series also avoid any exhortation to marriage, instead 
harp exclusively on, well, procreating.

Southampton's beautiful, widowed mother was quite distressed over her 
son's refusal to wed and wrote she would do anything to get him to marry 
the girl in question. The Fair Friend's mother is directly referred to 
in one sonnet.

These congruencies present a preponderance of circumstantial and 
historical evidence, and the simple conjecture made possible by their 
confluence is what I will accept until some greater preponderance to the 
contrary comes to light.

Whether I like it or not, I am forced to conclude that the Fair Friend 
of the budding name, a man of many hues, his mother's glass, opposed to 
marriage, nature's Rose, was indeed H.E. wRiOSEtheley.

Brother Occam demands it so.

I agree with Brother Kennedy on one point: There is no indication of a 
physical relationship between WS and the Fair Friend in the sonnets. 
(Indeed, a strong argument can be mounted to the contrary.) Contrast the 
Fair Friend sonnets to the Dark Lady sonnets. WS was not shy when it 
came to writing about sex.

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