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Relationships In Shakespeare's Sonnets

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Unusual Relationships in Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare probably wrote his first sonnet around in 1590s, which was his contribution to his generation for over fifty years. Sonnets became a fashion in that time period and many people had craze for his sonnets (Hyland 125). Some of the major questions can arouse by reading sonnets like, what is a Sonnet? Is it a poem? Does it tell a story? As we read the sonnets, we find that the sonnets expresses true feelings of love, frustrations, as well as relationships with between the poet and the characters (Bloom Modern Critical Interpretation Of William Shakespeare Sonnets 6-7). There are no indication that the love between them was true or not, but could be possibilities. The relationships in sonnets demonstrate powerful meaning of human love between the poet and his characters (Hyland 128).

To start with, Son of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, William Shakespeare was the eldest son out of eight children. The baptismal of William Shakespeare was registered on April 26, 1564, but the actual date of Shakespeare's birth is still unknown. Traditionally, April 23, 1564 had been his accepted birthday, since baptismal occurs three or four days after the birth (Speaight 7). Shakespeare did not attend a real school; instead he attended a grammar school, where he was taught how to read, write, and speak Latin. Once his school years ended, Shakespeare married at age of eighteen to Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than him. They had three children together, Susanna, and the twins, Hamnet and Judith (Bloom Shakespeare's Poem and Sonnets 13). Early around in January 1616, William Shakespeare's health started to get worse. Few months later, on his birthday, April 23, 1916, William Shakespeare died at the age of fifty-two (Speaight 372).

A collection of Shakespeare's one hundred and fifty-four short poems and a narrative poem called the Sonnets is most profound poetry of all time. The sonnets were written during the last few years of the sixteenth century in London. The publishing of sonnet was in London as Shake-Spear's Sonnets: Never before Imprinted, by Thomas Thorpe (Wait 7). The idea of sonnets began in Italy, during the thirteenth century and became popular in Italy. The sonnet comes in fourteen lines divided into two clear parts: opening octet and closing sestets. They have fixed rhythm scheme of abbaabbaa: cdecde (Bloom Shakespeare's poems and sonnets 16). At the time of the publication little clues were given about the dedication of the sonnets. "T. T"- the initials at the bottom referrers to the publisher Thomas Thorpe, but the question is who is Mr. W. H? If "W. H." was a guy, he had to be a young, rich, handsome, noble, and initials "W.H.". The candidates were from Henry Wnothesley, third Earl of Southampton to Willie Hughes, a homosexual boy actor (Wait 12).

Furthermore, Shakespeare conveys two kind of mother in his sonnet. In sonnet three, he shows the "unblessed" mother, who cannot have any children. She can have desire to be a mother, but she cannot give a birth to a child. Unlike her, mother in sonnets eighty-six, who is pregnant but she does not want to be a mother. She is having a miscarriage, which shows the unmoral side of a mother. One mother wants her lonely and dark womb to have a light of hope for a child and other mother wants her womb to a tomb (schiffer 357). In sonnet ninety-seven, the poet cannot get over the fact the child is unfathered. The poet calls the child to be the "unfathered fruit," which shows the unfaithful side of a mother. To express speaker's loneliness and frustration, he uses contrasting phrase like an innocent child is a "bastard," and his love more like a hate (Schiffer 359). As we read more, in sonnet 143, speaker is asking for constant attention from his mother. He wants to be loved but he feels neglected. He is asking his mother to nurture him but he is being ignored (Schiffer 347). As we explore the sonnets into detail, we discover that the poet plays the mother's part and wants someone to play mother's role for him. In sonnet 143, the dark lady is to play the mother's part. He mentions her as the "careful housewife." In sonnet 77, again the poet is playing the mother's part by taking care of the children and nursing them (Schiffer 363). But as we read further, we find an irony in the sonnet. The poet wants someone to play mother's role for him but all of sudden he encourage the young friend to get married and produce an heir. The poet tells the youth not to have close relationship with his baby's mother but instead have all the love for the male baby (Hyland 155).

Furthermore, as many editors started to make different interpretation of the sonnets, every editor came up with their own suggestions. In 1640, one of the editors came up with an idea that the sonnets are also addressed to a woman. He believed it was impossible for men to resist the beauty and physical desire for the opposite sex, but in the sonnets Shakespeare points out all the flaws of female. She is known to be a "dark lady." He shows more affection toward male than to a female because his fair lady had betrayed his trust and had an affair behind his back. Shakespeare would rather keep a male's love than a female's love (Bloom Modern Critical interpretation of William Shakespeare Sonnets 16). For many years people questioned, who really is the dark lady? Mary Fitton was one the candidate for being the dark lady for years, until Dr. Rowe proved that she is not the dark lady. She did not fit the description of the dark lady. Emilia Lanier, in 1597, confessed that she is the dark lady from the sonnets. They had an intimate affair while she was married to a musician (Speaight 93). The dark lady was dark in her morals not dark in racial. She had very fair skin with unattractive appearance, but despite of her physical appearance, he was attracted to her. This can be noticed when Rowse states "The first thing is that she was extremely dark: raven black eyes, black hair, eye-brows, and eye-lashes. This was unfashionable in a time that rated fairness and especially red-gold hair, so highly, and it called the more attention to the lady, for she was already well known. Some people would not allow that she was beautiful," (Rowse 78-79). Beside their gender difference, the dark lady and the poet were just a like. They have similar background, as well as same race. Her darkness represented her moral values but it's not a threat between their racial differences (Schiffer 370). The poet's affair with the dark lady is considered to be normal and a way to fulfill poet's sexual needs. In sonnet 138, poet



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