Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0227. Sunday, 19 March 1995.
Date: Saturday, 18 Mar 1995 07:55:51 -0800
Subject: Sonnet 129
Forgive me if this subject has been discussed before, or if it is unacceptable.
But in a recent poetry class there was discussion of the meaning of Sonnet
129. I labelled it as openly autoerotic. " _The expense of spirit in a waste of
shame is lust in action_ " strikes me as classicly onanistic. And how about
"_Enjoyed no sooner, but despised straight. Past reason hunted: and no sooner
had, Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait, on purpose laid to make the taker
mad:_. " Is this not a description of the guilt and fear associated with
masturbation? Surely I am not the first to express this view. Our poetry
class discussion was somewhat inhibited, so we did not really explore this
view. I would welcome your comments.
Joseph Nathan, Happy Retiree