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Home :: Archive :: 2011 :: December ::
Biography in the Sonnets

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0322  Monday, 5 December 2011

 

[1] From:         John W Kennedy < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         December 3, 2011 10:28:45 PM EST

     Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: Bernice W. Kliman; Bio Sonnets

 

[2] From:         Ian Steere < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         December 5, 2011 5:57:53 AM EST

     Subject:      Biography in the Sonnet

 

[3] From:         Duncan Salkeld < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         December 5, 2011 7:18:24 AM EST

     Subject:      RE: SHAKSPER: Bio Sonnets

 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:         John W Kennedy < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 3, 2011 10:28:45 PM EST

Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: Bernice W. Kliman; Bio Sonnets

 

Ian Steere < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > wrote,

 

>John Kennedy says "And here we see why trying to extract 

>biography from the Sonnets is futile". Similar remarks were 

>made (though not, in his defense, by John) of efforts to 

>extract meaning from the motion of stars, planets, and 

>winds (no doubt also involving some supine observation).

 

And with good reason. Astrology is nonsense.

 

>All attempts to broaden our knowledge tend to involve their 

>fair share of over-active imaginations, blinkered vision, 

>quackery, and dead ends.

>

>John, have you read the article? If so, where are its flaws? 

>Of course, they must exist. But I bet they are nothing like as 

>fundamental as you imply. And, it's just such a cynic as 

>yourself who can add value, either by demolishing the quack 

>or - who knows - by enabling us to build upon some of the 

>elements of discovery.

 

It is the usual catena of supposition, none of it proved, half of it based on what was never more than a guess, however hallowed by long tradition, such as the identification of the Fair Youth with Southhampton, when there is no actual evidence that Shakespeare ever even met the man, or that, if he did, it was more than a formal and public social introduction. Guess upon guess and "must have" upon "must have", until there's nothing left but pure mustiness, and Broceliande has claimed another victim, "loquacious with a graph or a gospel".

 

Perhaps the Sonnets were the song the Sirens sang.

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Ian Steere < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 5, 2011 5:57:53 AM EST

Subject:      Biography in the Sonnets

 

Brian Nugent says: "I just didn't see there, and still don't see, any specific reference that would lead to the Earl of Southampton in the Sonnets, except that dedication you mention. Presumably what should be there would be some pun on his name or reference to his heraldic device or whatever? I didn't notice any such reference myself but maybe I missed it . . ."

 

The article shows that all the circumstances and events discernible in the poems are reflected (without any contra-indicators) in external evidence involving Henry Wriothesley: his appearance, his early resistance to women and matrimony, his bisexuality, his loving of a poet and that poet's lover, his initial encouragement of Shakespeare's poetry, his receipt of private insult from Shakespeare on the latter's displacement from favour, his release from a confined doom at a time shortly after eclipse of the Mortal Moon, Elizabeth. As to name references, the article points to the wit of Sonnet 17, where Wriothesley appears. This combination of evidence, alone, is extraordinary. And there is much, much more. For those who have not read the piece and can't be bothered to look up the original link, here it is: Biography in the Sonnets.

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Duncan Salkeld < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 5, 2011 7:18:24 AM EST

Subject:      RE: SHAKSPER: Bio Sonnets

 

Unfortunately, Brian Nugent digs his hole deeper. Some acquaintance with early modern use of the term 'mistress', and how Elizabeth was referred to at the time, would assist him. 

 
 

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