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Showing posts from July, 2011

Note on Shakespeare's Sonnet 4: Life

Naturally, I don't think I'm ever going to complete this little series, but when I have time...

Vnthrifty louelinesse why dost thou spend,
Vpon thy selfe thy beauties legacy?
Natures bequest giues nothing but doth lend,
And being franck she lends to those are free:
Then beautious nigard why doost thou abuse,
The bountious largesse giuen thee to giue?
Profitles vserer why doost thou vse
So great a summe of summes yet can'st not liue?
For hauing traffike with thy selfe alone,
Thou of thy selfe thy sweet selfe dost deceaue,
Then how when nature calls thee to be gone,
What acceptable Audit can'st thou leaue?
Thy vnus'd beauty must be tomb'd with thee,
Which vsed liues th'executor to be.
Now, this sonnet sort of does what I implicitly critiqued when thinking about registers in sonnet 2. It makes an appeal, under the sign of the symbolic order (propriety, law, family), for desire and beauty to be absorbed into an economic register. Yet, partly because I think I've been a li…

Note on Shakespeare's Sonnet 3: Images

Looke in thy glasse and tell the face thou vewest,
Now is the time that face should forme an other,
Whose fresh repaire if now thou not renewest,
Thou doo'st beguile the world, vnblesse some mother.
For where is she so faire whose vn-eard wombe
Disdaines the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he so fond will be the tombe,
Of his selfe loue to stop posterity?
Thou art thy mothers glasse and she in thee
Calls backe the louely Aprill of her prime,
So thou through windowes of thine age shalt see,
Dispight of wrinkles this thy goulden time.
But if thou liue remembred not to be,
Die single and thine Image dies with thee.

This sonnet brings out all my deep-rooted Derridean tendencies, and this is a fairly basic reading along those lines. As both the first and last lines evoke the relationship between self and image, the différance between the two seems most obviously at stake.
The opening quatrain establishes that although the young man's beauty, confirmed by the reflection in the mirror, currentl…