The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0335 Wednesday, 24 June 2009
From: David Basch <
Date: Tuesday, 23 Jun 2009 14:34:50 -0400
Subject: 20.0326 Sonnet 130 and Film
Comment: Re: SHK 20.0326 Sonnet 130 and Film
Sam Small makes the same error on Sonnet 130 that many commentators
today make about the Sonnets as a whole. As I have tried to communicate
on list, the mistake is to think that the person sonneteered is a real
person. Despite that many commentators think these poems are about real
and actual love relations of the poet, years ago many commentators
thought these were allegorical.
For example, scholar specialist on the sonnet form, Katharine Wilson,
concluded that these poems were written "to no real woman" and in her
book on the "sugared Sonnets" she mentions many instances where
Shakespeare's poems directly parody earlier sonnets.
As for Sonnet 130, Shakespeare is actually making a general statement
about the nature of love between men and women, telling that a man's
fascination for the woman he loves does not depend on her physical
characteristics and the man's love is as good as any that even his gal
would suggest is deeper and more sincere.
You can learn this also from Sonnet 129, which focuses on man's natural
passion that drives him to seek out his love. It is "heaven" and a
"blisse," although at times it certainly can be really troublesome
("hell"). After all, this is nature's plan for mankind so how bad can it
ultimately be? This is what the poet is telling us.
The poet even signals this in Sonnet 131 in its very last line,
revealing that those tough remarks he makes in that sonnet about how
tyrannical, irresistible, and black his sweetheart is are really
"slaunder." See. He really doesn't mean it and tells us plainly that he
is slandering her. In other words, "She is indeed terrible and black,
but I lie about this, she being great!"
I would love to see a film about all of that.
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