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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: May ::
Regarding "Waste of Shame"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0423  Tuesday, 9 May 2006

[1] 	From: 	L. Swilley <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 8 May 2006 07:46:56 -0500
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0413 Regarding "Waste of Shame"

[2] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 08 May 2006 12:33:02 -0400
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0413 Regarding "Waste of Shame"

[3] 	From: 	Jeffrey Jordan <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 8 May 2006 15:57:14 -0500
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0413 Regarding "Waste of Shame"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		L. Swilley <
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Date: 		Monday, 8 May 2006 07:46:56 -0500
Subject: 17.0413 Regarding "Waste of Shame"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0413 Regarding "Waste of Shame"

Sandra Sparks wrote,

>I viewed "Waste of Shame,"...  Most of it I personally did not like...

[Tell me. The writers should be shot - as an object lesson.]

[L. Swilley]

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date: 		Monday, 08 May 2006 12:33:02 -0400
Subject: 17.0413 Regarding "Waste of Shame"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0413 Regarding "Waste of Shame"

>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?

Shakespeare did not publish the sonnets. Thomas Thorpe did. Whether he did 
so with the approval of the author is an interesting question, which might 
turn on the identity of W.H., and which will almost certainly never be 
resolved.

As for ownership, it is not all that clear that the patron (if there was 
one) owned the copyright to the sonnets.  Wasn't patronage designed to 
glorify the patron, not entitle him to exclusive and private possession of 
the work of art he commissioned?   If so, wasn't publication intended? 
Consider the dedications to V&A and Lucrece.

Under current law, the copyright would belong to the author unless it was 
commissioned by a written agreement which expressly provides that the work 
was made for hire and belongs to the patron.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jeffrey Jordan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Monday, 8 May 2006 15:57:14 -0500
Subject: 17.0413 Regarding "Waste of Shame"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0413 Regarding "Waste of Shame"

Replying to Sandra Sparks.

>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.

While the first seventeen Sonnets are suggestive of having something to do 
with Southampton, perhaps concerning his marriage prospects, they don't 
outright say so.  They're written in a general style, for general reading. 
The idea of the Sonnets being written for anybody in particular is an 
inference.  It's a fairly reasonable inference, but still, that's all it 
is.

My personal view is that there was probably more than one copy of the 
Sonnets circulated in manuscript.  The remark by Francis Meres, about S's 
"sugared sonnets among his private friends," tends to support there was 
more than one copy made of them, for circulation among a group of poetry 
buffs.  Meres didn't actually say so, however.  Also, the publication of 
two of the Sonnets in 'The Passionate Pilgrime' tends to suggest there was 
more than one copy around, in manuscript, which allowed publisher Jaggard, 
or somebody he knew, to get hold of a page of the Sonnets.  It does seem 
reasonable S would have kept a copy, and then circulated another copy or 
two among his friends.  So, S may have always had a complete set of his 
sonnets, and perhaps another person or two did, as well.  The 
prepublication history of the Sonnets is an exercise in speculation, tho.

>..., and why would he wait to
>publish in 1609?

Ah, if we only knew.  All that's really known for sure is that some chain 
of events led to Thorpe and Eld having a full set of the Sonnets at that 
time.

>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?

What other work do you have in mind, other than what's been established, 
that you think he might have written?  Is there any specific kind of 
writing you mean, beyond what's known?

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