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The Sonnets

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.202  Tuesday, 22 April 2014

 

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

     Date:         April 22, 2014 at 6:13:19 AM EDT

     Subject:    The Sonnets

 

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

     Date:         April 22, 2014 at 8:56:01 AM EDT

     Subject:    Sonnets 

 

 

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

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

Date:         April 22, 2014 at 6:13:19 AM EDT

Subject:    The Sonnets

 

My dialogue with John Drakakis started with his opinion that the Sonnets present “a collection that is, in terms of a story, incoherent”. In response, I outlined a story which emerges both naturally and coherently (from the platform of some objective, external evidence).

 

John chose neither to accept, nor to test this development—thereby establishing an approach to our debate which he has maintained steadfastly.

 

Now he says I am confusing ‘probability’ and ‘possibility’—though he has ignored the evidence on which I base my assessments. He is concerned that I (or others) may “see some of the later sonnets in the sequence as evidence that Shakespeare had contracted a sexually transmitted disease”.

 

Well, I have never presented the Sonnets as evidence that Shakespeare had an STD—nor have I relied on speculations on “life in Elizabethan and Jacobean England”. I prefer interpretations which are in line with objective, external evidence.

 

John, I have two challenges for you. I am afraid they are repetitious, because you have ignored earlier invitations to comment thereon.

 

First, (so that we may assess your personal settings for assessment of  ‘probability’ and ‘possibility’) do you consider it “probable” or merely “possible” that young William attended the grammar school in Stratford?

 

Second, I have summarized my argument (for the high probability that the Sonnets represent private correspondence from Shakespeare to Wriothesley, subsequently published without their consent). It is divided into seven, easily understood steps (as re-presented in my last post, responding to Julia Crockett). Will you now assess each step, so that we may understand precisely where, and why, you disagree with the elements of the argument? 

 

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

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

Date:         April 22, 2014 at 8:56:01 AM EDT

Subject:    Sonnets

 

Did not intend to be offensive to Ian. I read this from Barbara Everett years ago and it always (largely) struck me as a great piece. I do not know if you have access to it. London Review of Books, Vol.30 No.9*8 May 2008 ‘Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Sonnet.’ Where she is so clever is that she trashes the autobiographical. At the same time in attempting to clarify the ex tempore exploration of the passions (to her beyond the arid Sidney) she leaves the personal speculative.

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-MpE_nTvOfjq0YRAd5Xq5ncWhDgqEc43s1sUXwV0Td4/edit

 
 

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