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Thread: Sonnet #94

  1. #1
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    Post Sonnet #94

    Sonnet #94

    XCIV.

    They that have power to hurt and will do none,
    That do not do the thing they most do show,
    Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
    Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
    They rightly do inherit heaven's graces
    And husband nature's riches from expense;
    They are the lords and owners of their faces,
    Others but stewards of their excellence.
    The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
    Though to itself it only live and die,
    But if that flower with base infection meet,
    The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
    For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
    Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

    More...

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    This one's always confused me - I can't match the first line with the rest. The rest is I guess a recommendation to be beautiful but chaste. But surely such beauty is most likely to 'hurt'?

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    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexar View Post
    This one's always confused me - I can't match the first line with the rest. The rest is I guess a recommendation to be beautiful but chaste. But surely such beauty is most likely to 'hurt'?
    I think it's causing pain unconsciously via their beauty. Being cruel by their coldness as opposed to any direct action.

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    WHOLE LOTTA BILLY BILLY BILLY BILLY S BURROUGHS!!!
    and none, That summer's turn the are of of graces And thing that sweet, Though that not graces And their die, But have heaven's do do sourest dignity: For itself faces, Others thing cold, rightly cold, are power none, That die, But most excellence. The his slow, They power that as his sweetest sweet, Though itself meet, The riches others, his summer's that and with live slow, They basest moving stone, Unmoved, do owners live weed sourest to is die, But as things his fester nature's themselves if dignity: For flower than basest from others, excellence. The by most summer's itself is stone, Unmoved, infection to is than base graces And cold, that

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    Registered User gruntingslime's Avatar
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    I disagree with the comment above... I sort of get where you're coming from, in that poetic language and expression can sometimes seemed to be wrenched from somewhere in a person that is near incomprehensible, and if it does not come out sounding sweet it can appear very sour indeed, and that's what this poem is talking about.

    They that have power to hurt and will do none,
    That do not do the thing they most do show,
    Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
    Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
    They rightly do inherit heaven's graces

    What I see in the above section, I'm just going to give a single interpretation of it... I'm sure I could come up with more and I'm sure that is what some might think to be the beauty of poetry.

    'They that have the power to hurt and will do none' ... meaning, people possess power, to hurt in many ways... in a love relationship, since that is a favorite topic, there is always a chance to hurt another person, being unfaithful, or merely domineering and cut out someone's wishes and dreams... taking any sort of position of this nature...

    It's funny because the only reason I had a connection to the line 'Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,' is because I relate it to a couple of things... one is the stoic ideas, being steadfast in the storm and chaos of life and the world and sticking to ones personal values and convictions... and generally this is an acknowledgement of what is good, and acting and being unbending from a path of "truth"... and in a religious point of view this might open doors to heaven, and imbue a person with the quality of grace.

    And husband nature's riches from expense;

    The line above I admit illudes me...

    They are the lords and owners of their faces,
    Others but stewards of their excellence.

    What I would see here is that they own there faces in that they do not wear masks perhaps... Stewards of their excellence I might take to be something like, the role of a steward is sort of like a manager or an administrator, not getting to technical on that, but that a person who is always concerned for nothing but their excellence will spend all their mind and life struggling to have life conform to their ideals, and trying to make themselves into something perhaps they are truly not.

    The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
    Though to itself it only live and die,

    I take 'The summer's flower is to the summer sweet' to be something like a human perspective on seeing the flowers as a beautiful product of the summer, what makes it worth while and wonderful to us... but from the perspective of a flower it's just going through the motions of its existence without thinking one way or another about its own beauty.

    But if that flower with base infection meet,
    The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
    For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
    Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

    He's making an allusion to flowers that I would take to be refering back to the people... I guess the people who are granted a form of power... and I wouldn't just take it to be like power relations, I would even say as a human in general you might possess certain abilities that might be considered power... like in conversation, when you move someone's mind, move them to a thought or some words, you are affecting a moment in that person's life, that's a piece of power... So the flowers are something that possess power in that they are beautiful to us, 'give summer its magic' let's say, but if the flowers were all stinking and festering it might look like a hellhole that is beyond the sight of weeds, some of which might even be taken as endearing to a certain eye...

    Really it's just what you make it... I've thought a lot about poetry and writing... Through time and literature ideas are being passed down, some of them good and interesting, some of them helpful... in poetry there can be some beauty, one can receive a feeling either because of the musicality of language or because the ideas or imagery unlock inner reminiscences... and sometimes it can be a waste of time, not necessarily Shakespeare, not necessarily any one work, maybe not any one work in any situation or to any one person at any point in their life...
    Last edited by gruntingslime; 11-30-2011 at 11:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Strugnell View Post
    WHOLE LOTTA BILLY BILLY BILLY BILLY S BURROUGHS!!!
    and none, That summer's turn the are of of graces And thing that sweet, Though that not graces And their die, But have heaven's do do sourest dignity: For itself faces, Others thing cold, rightly cold, are power none, That die, But most excellence. The his slow, They power that as his sweetest sweet, Though itself meet, The riches others, his summer's that and with live slow, They basest moving stone, Unmoved, do owners live weed sourest to is die, But as things his fester nature's themselves if dignity: For flower than basest from others, excellence. The by most summer's itself is stone, Unmoved, infection to is than base graces And cold, that
    Good parody on 52. That sonnet always cracked me up.

  7. #7
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    For some reason there is always one line that spoils for me in any sonnet I come cross.
    In this one, the last line is just too bad for words for me anyway.
    sonnet 94 lacks fine words and fine imageries.
    It lacks beautifull words and is loaded with remorseful endemic words I wish not to see nor read.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

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    I agree, Cacian. I never liked Shakespeare. The problem with this in the last line is that the value of weeds is not appreciated at all. The problem with the whole sonnet is that those who have power to hurt will demonstrate it no matter what unless there are laws that prevent it. Also, anyone with this point of view is definitely an elitist kissing as s. Something that Sakespeare always does and is obvious in his other writings. Nothing of concern with the emotions, aspirations and motivations of the common person. Totally outdated and in a museum that aspires to come back to everyday life. And always etiquette galore.

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