The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0413 Monday, 8 May 2006
Date: Sunday, 7 May 2006 06:51:20 -0400
Subject: Regarding "Waste of Shame"
I viewed "Waste of Shame," an idea of how WS wrote the sonnets, last
night on BBC America. I come at this television show from a different
point of view than most of you, scholars that you are. I am not
surprised that English friends did not mention it to me, if it was
released on British television at an earlier date. Most of it I
personally did not like, for reasons that would not interest most of the
posters on this list. However, I have a question for you: what is it
about Emilia Lanier that makes so many researchers want to sidestep the
high probability that she was the "Dark Lady" of the sonnets? I commend
the writers of the teleplay for making William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke
the Lord of the sonnets (though the casting was poor, in my opinion),
but having the Dark Lady turn out to be a whore was silly. And a waste
of a beautiful actress (Indira Varma) to boot. I would have liked to
have seen her take on Emilia.
The only casting I truly liked in the show was Zoe Wanamaker as Mary
Sidney Herbert. Wonderful.
I have a second question for you: have you ever wondered how the
original seventeen sonnets came back to WS? As a poet serving a patron,
the poems written for a patron would have been the property of that
person, not the writer himself. How were they returned to him, and why
would he wait to publish in 1609? This leads to a third question: if WS
had the patronage of Southampton, the Pembrokes, or possibly any other
nobleman, he wasn't paid good money to sit around. What has happened to
the other work he was paid for? He couldn't publish what was not legally
his. What might have happened to the work? Does anyone have any ideas?
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