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Correspondent
friery
Posts: 209
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

The tone of this sonnet is much more conversational than didactic, as some of the earlier sonnets tended to be.

 

I think this is the first time we've seen music as a theme.

 

The first two lines, in keeping with the musical theme, seem and sound melodic.  The second two lines were, to my ear, jarring and discordant.  (I made a note, "odd line," with regard to the third line--"Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly...")  I think the meter may be off.

 

The remainder of the poem carries forward the parallel between music played in harmony and the harmony of a happy family.  But there seems more than that here--I think Shakespeare may have been talking also about a celestial harmony, or a harmony of the universe represented by well-tuned music and a harmonious family. 

 

Lines 10 and 11 refer to an instrument with sympathetic strings.  A lute came to mind when I read that. 

 

Lines 12 and 13 have an interesting parallelism.  Look at the phrases "all in one" and "being many, seeming one."  One point may be that members of a musical ensemble retain their individual identities, even though they are producing one sound.   A family is the same. 

 

Are we learning something more about the subject of these poems?  Is he not just narcissistic, but also afraid of losing his individual identity?

 


ConnieK wrote:

Sonnet 8:

 

 

Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?

Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy.

Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,

Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?

If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,

By unions married, do offend thine ear,

They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds

In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.

Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,

Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,

Resembling sire and child and happy mother

Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing;

   Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,

   Sings this to thee:  "Thou single wilt prove none."


 

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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

We can do 2 more sonnets this week before we move on to The Tempest in May.  I hope you've enjoyed concentrating on the sonnets this month as much as I have.  We'll return to the sonnets in a few months and will pick up with Sonnet #11 when we do. 

 

For now, let's consider Sonnet #9.

 

Sonnet #9:

 

Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye

That thou consum'st thyself in single life?

Ah, if thou issueless shalt hap to die,

The world will wail thee like a makeless wife;

The world will be thy widow and still weep

That thou no form of thee hast left behind,

When every private widow well may keep,

By children's eyes, her husband's shape in mind.

Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend

Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;

But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,

And, kept unused, the user so destroys it.

   No love toward others in that bosom sits

   That on himself such murd'rous shame commits.

 

 

~ConnieAnnKirk




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Benedict3
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

Don't be a bachelor past the child bearing years.
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

Sonnet #10:

 

 

For shame deny that thou bear'st love to any,

Who for thyself art so unprovident.

Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,

But that thou none lov'st is most evident.

For thou art so possessed with murd'rous hate

That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire,

Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate

Which to repair should be thy chief desire.

O, change thy thought, that I may change my mind.

Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?

Be as thy presence is, gracious and kind,

Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove.

   Make thee another self for love of me,

   That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

 

***

~ConnieAnnKirk




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Correspondent
friery
Posts: 209
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

Whoa! What's with all the W's? Wow!

 

There's more alliteration in this sonnet than in any we're read thus far.  The poem is really heavy on the W's--wet, widow, world, wife, wail, weep, well.  Add the th's, which I think are sonically close--that, thou, thee, thy, and even unthrift--and the entire poem fairly warbles.

 

There are some serious accusations directed at the young man.  He "consum'st" himself.  He is like an "unthrift," an echo of the financial metaphors we've seen before. He destroys beauty.  And, most damning, he commits "murd'rous shame."  All through this, Shakespeare is arguing that there is a societal duty to procreate, to pass on his beauty in successive generations.

 


ConnieK wrote:

We can do 2 more sonnets this week before we move on to The Tempest in May.  I hope you've enjoyed concentrating on the sonnets this month as much as I have.  We'll return to the sonnets in a few months and will pick up with Sonnet #11 when we do. 

 

For now, let's consider Sonnet #9.

 

Sonnet #9:

 

Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye

That thou consum'st thyself in single life?

Ah, if thou issueless shalt hap to die,

The world will wail thee like a makeless wife;

The world will be thy widow and still weep

That thou no form of thee hast left behind,

When every private widow well may keep,

By children's eyes, her husband's shape in mind.

Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend

Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;

But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,

And, kept unused, the user so destroys it.

   No love toward others in that bosom sits

   That on himself such murd'rous shame commits.

 

 


 

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friery
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

"Shame" is the second word of this sonnet--and the second to last in the preceding sonnet.  (And the word "murd'rous" also repeats itself.)  There's no doubt about where the poet stands.

 

This is the first sonnet where the interlocutor uses the words "I" and "me."  That makes a major shift in the attitude expressed in the sonnets.  Now, the speaker's personal feelings become involved.  There's no doubt about this in the line in the couplet "Make thee another self for love of me..."  In the early sonnets, we've gone from didactic to conversational to accusatory, to almost confessional.

 

And there's another major new element.  In the preceding sonnets, the issue was a generalized duty to society to procreate.  Now, there's family honor and preservation of the family name: "Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate/Which to repair should be thy chief desire..."  The problem is coming closer to home in many respects.

 

Finally, the poet almost sneaks a favorite word past us. Note the word "fairer" in line 10.

 


ConnieK wrote:

Sonnet #10:

 

 

For shame deny that thou bear'st love to any,

Who for thyself art so unprovident.

Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,

But that thou none lov'st is most evident.

For thou art so possessed with murd'rous hate

That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire,

Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate

Which to repair should be thy chief desire.

O, change thy thought, that I may change my mind.

Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?

Be as thy presence is, gracious and kind,

Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove.

   Make thee another self for love of me,

   That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

 

***


 

Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007

Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

Reading those lines with the "w"s in them aloud makes almost a whipping kind of sound and feeling, too, almost like beating down the addressee. 

 

 

 


friery wrote:

Whoa! What's with all the W's? Wow!

 

There's more alliteration in this sonnet than in any we're read thus far.  The poem is really heavy on the W's--wet, widow, world, wife, wail, weep, well.  Add the th's, which I think are sonically close--that, thou, thee, thy, and even unthrift--and the entire poem fairly warbles.

 

There are some serious accusations directed at the young man.  He "consum'st" himself.  He is like an "unthrift," an echo of the financial metaphors we've seen before. He destroys beauty.  And, most damning, he commits "murd'rous shame."  All through this, Shakespeare is arguing that there is a societal duty to procreate, to pass on his beauty in successive generations.


Sonnet #9:

 

Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye

That thou consum'st thyself in single life?

Ah, if thou issueless shalt hap to die,

The world will wail thee like a makeless wife;

The world will be thy widow and still weep

That thou no form of thee hast left behind,

When every private widow well may keep,

By children's eyes, her husband's shape in mind.

Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend

Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;

But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,

And, kept unused, the user so destroys it.

   No love toward others in that bosom sits

   That on himself such murd'rous shame commits.

 


 

 
~ConnieAnnKirk




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Benedict3
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

Sonnet #2:

 

I love reading Shakespeare!

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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

We left off on #10, so I’m posting #11:

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow’st
In one of thine from that which thou departest,
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow’st
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth
    Convertest.
Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase;
Without this, folly, age, and cold decay,
If all were minded so, the times should cease,
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom nature hath not made for store,
Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish.
Look whom she best endowed she gave the more,
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish.
   She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby
   Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.

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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets


Benedict3 wrote:
We left off on #10, so I’m posting #11:

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow’st
In one of thine from that which thou departest,
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow’st
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth
    Convertest.
Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase;
Without this, folly, age, and cold decay,
If all were minded so, the times should cease,
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom nature hath not made for store,
Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish.
Look whom she best endowed she gave the more,
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish.
   She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby
   Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.


 

Thanks, Benedict! 

 

Images that first pop out at me for this one involve terms related to printing--"seal," "print," "copy." As I look back through the earlier lines of the poem, however, the printing motif is not there but instead I see images of growth and decrease, giving and taking away.

 

What do other readers see?

~ConnieAnnKirk




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Laurel
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

Could this be about Hamnet, who died at age 11 or so?

ConnieK wrote:

Benedict3 wrote:
We left off on #10, so I’m posting #11:

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow’st
In one of thine from that which thou departest,
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow’st
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth
    Convertest.
Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase;
Without this, folly, age, and cold decay,
If all were minded so, the times should cease,
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom nature hath not made for store,
Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish.
Look whom she best endowed she gave the more,
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish.
   She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby
   Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.


 

Thanks, Benedict! 

 

Images that first pop out at me for this one involve terms related to printing--"seal," "print," "copy." As I look back through the earlier lines of the poem, however, the printing motif is not there but instead I see images of growth and decrease, giving and taking away.

 

What do other readers see?


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Benedict3
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎02-27-2009

Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

The images and linguistics that occur to me are bitter.  The bitter sensation comes from the presumable advice contained within this Sonnet.  The advice that is given is that at a certain age we should have kids, and if we do not we become bitter, our wisdom is unused, and all we end up with is a cold grave.   We must make ‘copies’ of ourselves, and consider the copy that is made as a copy to be ourselves or the copy is ourselves, thereby retaining our youth.  We are not separate from our kids, our knowledge and advice are part of them, and in doing so, they are part of us.  Without kids, our wrinkles are our wrinkles, our loneliness is our loneliness, our pain is our pain and that is all we are.  With kids, their ups and downs become part of our ups and downs.  Its not easy to be a kid, but its easier for an aging person to live along with the ups and downs of their kids than to live on the slope toward death.  Many people say, and think that their kids require too much time.  But what if the only problems you focused on were your own?  Aging.. illness…  loneliness…  This Sonnet shows us how bitter we can become if we do not live the typical family life.

Unfortunately, I am living and  starting to experience the bitter side of living an a-typical life alone.

I love reading Shakespeare, but it is often bitter-sweat because it is so accurate.  Each Sonnet, each paragraph within any one of his plays always briliant, and always difficult to possibly see what he is saying, then once seen, accepting.

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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets


Laurel wrote:


Could this be about Hamnet, who died at age 11 or so?


What's the timing of that, I wonder?  Apparently, the sonnets first appeared in 1609.

~ConnieAnnKirk




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Laurel
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

Hamnet, Shakespeare's only son, twin of Judith, died at age 11 in 1596. Someone has postulated that the beloved young man in Shakespeare's sonnets was actually Hamnet, whom Shakespeare dearly wanted to stay alive and grow up and pass on his genes. I'm a bit skeptical of that, but this sonnet certainly seems to fit Hamnet.

ConnieK wrote:

Laurel wrote:


Could this be about Hamnet, who died at age 11 or so?


What's the timing of that, I wonder?  Apparently, the sonnets first appeared in 1609.


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets


Laurel wrote:
Hamnet, Shakespeare's only son, twin of Judith, died at age 11 in 1596. Someone has postulated that the beloved young man in Shakespeare's sonnets was actually Hamnet, whom Shakespeare dearly wanted to stay alive and grow up and pass on his genes. I'm a bit skeptical of that, but this sonnet certainly seems to fit Hamnet.

ConnieK wrote:

Laurel wrote:


Could this be about Hamnet, who died at age 11 or so?


What's the timing of that, I wonder?  Apparently, the sonnets first appeared in 1609.


 


 

What details from the poem make you think of Hamnet, Laurel?
~ConnieAnnKirk




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Laurel
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

I haven't analysed this sonnet very closely yet, so it's just a feeling. The picture of one waning in the flesh while growing in the speaker's heart and the other images of perishing and death (the last word is 'die') and perhaps even the number 11 just brought this to my mind.

ConnieK wrote:

Laurel wrote:
Hamnet, Shakespeare's only son, twin of Judith, died at age 11 in 1596. Someone has postulated that the beloved young man in Shakespeare's sonnets was actually Hamnet, whom Shakespeare dearly wanted to stay alive and grow up and pass on his genes. I'm a bit skeptical of that, but this sonnet certainly seems to fit Hamnet.

ConnieK wrote:

Laurel wrote:


Could this be about Hamnet, who died at age 11 or so?


What's the timing of that, I wonder?  Apparently, the sonnets first appeared in 1609.


 


 

What details from the poem make you think of Hamnet, Laurel?

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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friery
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

I see the first quatrain as so strange sonically.

 

Assonance--as, fast, grow'st, departest, betsow'st, mayst, convertest.

 

Alliteration--fast, thou, fresh, thine; and blood and bestowest.

 

And the repetition of "thou" and "thine," and "fast."

 

And each line ending in an "est" suffix.

 

On top of that, try saying the last line of the quatrain ten times fast: "Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest."  Can't be done. 

 

My overall reaction is that I struggle through these lines.  Is the interlocutor somehow also struggling?

 


Benedict3 wrote:
We left off on #10, so I’m posting #11:

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow’st
In one of thine from that which thou departest,
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow’st
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth
    Convertest.
Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase;
Without this, folly, age, and cold decay,
If all were minded so, the times should cease,
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom nature hath not made for store,
Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish.
Look whom she best endowed she gave the more,
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish.
   She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby
   Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.


 

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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

[ Edited ]

We can certainly keep considering #11 and any of the sonnets in the thread, but I'll go ahead and post #12:

 

 

Sonnet #12

 

When I do count the clock that tells the time

And see the brave day sunk in hideous night,

When I behold the violet past prime

And sable curls [all] silvered o'er with white;

When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,

Which erest from heat did canopy the herd,

And summer's green all girded up in sheaves

Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard;

Then of thy beauty do I question make

That thou among the wastes of time must go,

Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake

And die as fast as they see others grow;

  And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defense

  Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

Message Edited by ConnieK on 07-06-2009 11:28 AM
~ConnieAnnKirk




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Laurel
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

Do you hear the clock ticking in this sonnet?

ConnieK wrote:

Sonnet #12

 

When I do count the clock that tells the time

And see the brave day sunk in hideous night,

When I behold the violet past prime

And sable curls [all] silvered o'er with white;

When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,

Which erest from heat did canopy the herd,

And summer's green all girded up in sheaves

Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard;

Then of thy beauty do I question make

That thou among the wastes of time must go,

Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake

And die as fast as they see others grow;

  And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defense

  Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

Message Edited by ConnieK on 07-06-2009 11:28 AM

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Mariposa
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Re: Shakespeare's Sonnets

It all depends on what you mean by hearing the clock ticking? Through the rhythm and rhyme of the poem? Or in my life?

 

I need some help understanding the final couplet. What is the meaning of the word "breed" in this context?

 

Lizabeth

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