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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: May ::
Regarding "Waste of Shame"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0432  Wednesday, 10 May 2006

[1] 	From: 	John W. Kennedy <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 09 May 2006 16:57:00 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0423 Regarding "Waste of Shame"

[2] 	From: 	Sandra Sparks <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 10 May 2006 07:22:04 -0400
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0423 Regarding "Waste of Shame"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John W. Kennedy <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 09 May 2006 16:57:00 -0400
Subject: 17.0423 Regarding "Waste of Shame"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0423 Regarding "Waste of Shame"

Larry Weiss <
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 >

 > 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.

Copyright didn't even exist; it was introduced late in the reign of 
Queen Anne.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Sandra Sparks <
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 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 10 May 2006 07:22:04 -0400
Subject: 17.0423 Regarding "Waste of Shame"
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0423 Regarding "Waste of Shame"

To L Swilley:

Don't shoot the writers of "Waste of Shame," just make them watch the 
thing until they are insane - I feel they should suffer as we suffered.

To Larry Weiss and Jeffrey Jordan:

Copyright wasn't a legal concept for another 100 years after WS. There 
would be private commissions that might seem to be the properrty of 
those who commissioned them: eulogies, epitaphs, epigrams, mottos, happy 
birthday, Lord Johnny...etc, etc. Nobles would expect to get something 
more solid than just recognition for their money. I doubt WS would have 
found any of these commissions serious enough to still claim after 
writing them, but his hand is surely recognizable, if any of these 
things still exist.

My stance on all this:

I have reason to feel that V & A was written to attract Southampton's 
patronage, while Lucrece was written at his request. I feel the 
patronage was a short-lived one. I believe a number of the sonnets were 
written to William Herbert, the first seventeen only being a commission 
by his mother, and therefore property of the Herberts. The later poems 
were WS's,  some shared between William Herbert and himself only, some, 
more general, being shared between WS and a number of friends, and  some 
kept, by their nature, only by WS, until he decided to publish them all. 
Some of the sonnets have nothing to do with either William Herbert or 
Emilia Lanier (who is amply qualified to be considered the Dark "Lady" - 
lady being a term WS never used).

I feel WH returned the original 17 sonnets, along with other sonnets, to 
WS in the 1600's. I also feel WS published all the poems for two 
reasons: exorcism of a long standing pain about his two lovers, and to 
make Emilia Lanier superbly angry, which she would have deserved. There 
is evidence in her own poetry after the publication date that he might 
have succeeded.  There is no greater revenge than a poem that far 
outlasts the people involved. He would have still protected himself, a 
bit, by publishing through Thomas Thorpe, particularly seeing that he 
was laying the homosexual love he felt completely out there in a time 
when puritanism was on the rise.

All for now,
Sandra Sparks

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