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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: December ::
Sonnet 146
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1092  Tuesday, 12 December 2006

[1] 	From: 	Harry Connors <
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 	Date: 	Sunday, 10 Dec 2006 02:33:36 +0000
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.1089 Sonnet 146

[2] 	From: 	Sid Lubow <
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 	Date: 	Saturday, 9 Dec 2006 23:54:23 EST
 	Subj: 	Sonnet 146


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Harry Connors <
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Date: 		Sunday, 10 Dec 2006 02:33:36 +0000
Subject: 17.1089 Sonnet 146
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.1089 Sonnet 146

As I see it, the subject of the sonnet is essentially religious--a version 
of build up riches in heaven rather than on earth. The Poet advises 
himself to store up divine riches within rather than costly show without. 
"My sinful earth" could be rendered as "my sinful flesh." That is, "Dust 
thou art and unto dust thou shalt return."

Harry Connors

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Sid Lubow <
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Date: 		Saturday, 9 Dec 2006 23:54:23 EST
Subject: 	Sonnet 146

Looking into Will's own egotistical mind, the "POore foule, the center of 
my finful earth," that bred his "finful rebbell powres," he asks, "Why 
doft thou pine within and fuffer dearth," making a famine amidst his 
plenty, while, "Painting thy outward walls fo costlie gay?"   Narcissus 
also asked himself, "What shall I doe?  The thing I seeke is in my selfe, 
my plentie makes me poore." (OM III, 586-7)

Will realizes finally that self-love and self-praise are not worth very 
much.

"Truth is truth" to the end of time, "to th' end of reck'ning" (MM, V, 1) 
Perhaps the only thing on earth that is worthy of being a legacy. Within, 
feed on love and constancy and Truth and Beauty; without, "be rich no 
more" with the "exceffe" that self-love is.   Recall the very first sonnet 
that described a "glutton" eating "the worlds due." (13-14)   "Feed'ft thy 
lights flame with felfe-fubstantiall fewell, / Making a famine where 
aboundance lies,   / Thy selfe thy foe, to thy fweet felf too cruel." (S 
1.6-8) No more abusive opulence of the worst sort, as the excess of 
narcissism, to 'live high on the hog' and yet "so possessed with murd'rous 
hate." (S 10.5)  "So fhalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men, and 
death once dead, ther's no more dying then." In A Lover's Complaint, the 
Muse, the "fickle maid", knew very well it was a new self-loving sixteen 
year old Narcissus with whom she had fallen in love.   She tearfully told 
the old man she should have loved herself or no love at all.

      "Father fhe faies, though in me you behold               71
      The iniury of many a blafting houre;
      Let it not tell your Iudgment I am old,
      Not age, but forrow, ouer me hath power;
      I might as yet haue been a fpreading flower
      Frefh to my felfe, If I had felfe applyed
      Loue to my felfe and to no Loue befide."

Please note her reference to age and sorrow, from the virgin Muse of 
Tragedy. At this late stage of the Sonnet play, Will knew very well who 
the "rebbell powres" were. He saw his all too real "faulfe borrow'd face" 
on the Muse's neck, in 131.11, his other I. The returning fickle Muse, the 
'dark lady', dropped her spiteful "hate" and admitted she still loved him 
in the couplet of the previous sonnet, 145. She finally succeded in giving 
him "eyes to blindness" in sonnets 148 and 152.

      "The funne it felfe fees not, till heauen cleeres.    (148.12)
               O cunning loue, with teares thou keepft me blinde,
              Leaft eyes well feeing thy foule faults fhould finde."

      "And, to inlighten thee gaue eyes to blindneffe,    (152.11)
      Or made them fwere againft the thing they fee.
               For I haue fworne thee faire: more periured eye,
              To fwere againft the truth fo foule a lie."

Mike Shapiro, those clever words you suggested to be added to line two, 
"aiding, abetting or arming" is, in my opinion, to repeat the error of the 
typesetter in 1609 by presuming to add, without permission from the Bard, 
the words "earth these". Please note that he never did acknowledge that he 
authorized the publication, possibly because of its many errors and its 
admissions of adultery and worse in A Lover's Complaint towards noble 
women, and the receipt of valuable gems for his seductive "blacke deeds" 
of sonnet 131.13.

Respectfully,
Sid Lubow

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