Category Archives: Language

Sonnet 106

While reading Sonnet 106, I noticed that the notes at the bottom of the page seemed to flow in their own sort of jolted, poetic way. Putting it all together, I thought it fit quite nicely with the idea of not being able to find the right words and falling short of describing the true worth of someone that the sonnet revolves around.

 

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Chronicle of wasted
Annals of all-wasting
Annalls of all wastinge
Descriptions
Description
Rhyme mine of hand, of foot, of face, of hand
Of face of hands
Of eye, or eye of brow, or brow even
Their, mistakenly transcribed as ‘these’ in Oxford,
Are, were this, these, those
Time
Days looked, saw, say divining, deceiving skill
Still style
Tucker, your, thy…me
Present pleasant tongues, tongue

PUNS…… wordplay

Reading Shakespeare’s sonnets have been very adventurous. It just reminds me that there is nothing new under the sun. Imagine, today many parents want their children to make them grandparents… but Shakespeare even takes it a bit further here. He is chastising and reprimanding the “fair youth” about his “greed” because he’s been hoarding all the beauty to himself by placing a restraining order on himself since he decides not to have a child. Shakespeare uses lots of puns, wordplay and underground symbolisms to effectively rope our minds around his idea. I fell in love with the second sonnet because of the emphatic imagery he uses to capture us all.

He starts with “When forty winters shall besiege they brow, and dig deep trenches in thy beauty field”.   Good work Shakespeare! He starts on a scary note to scare the young man.  If you have read about or seen videos from WW1, you would know that trenches mean war. And forty winters obviously means forty years. So, Shakespeare is saying in not-so-many words that when the war of old age comes, it will destroy the “fair youth’s” beauty.

In line three Shakespeare uses a fascinating word “livery”. So when I looked it up, the most reasonable definition was “a special uniform worn by a servant or official” (via OED). Here Shakespeare is comparing the fair youth’s skin to a kind of “special cloth”. But in the next line he ends up saying it will become “tattered weeds”.

Shakespeare also appears to be a master of invectives. He tells the fair youth that his life will become “an all eating shame and thriftiest praise” if it doesn’t use it wisely.

I would cry to bed if someone told me that. Lol.

Using voyant on a section of Lucrece

I put a section of The Rape of Lucrece (lines 133-153) into voyant and what i found was that one of the most repeated words (excluding conjunctions) was “wealth”. There was also a couple uses of the word “gain”. In the context of this section in which Tarquin is reasoning with himself as to whether or not he ought to rape Lucrece, I found this repetition interesting. While wealth typically refers to material possessions and more specifically money, in this case it seems as though tarquin is seeing possession of Lucrece as a form of wealth. This shows us how lucrece, and more generally women, were seen not as people but as possessions. Tarquin wants lucrece not because of any of her qualities but because he wants to be more “wealthy” than his rivals.Screenshot (5)

Voyant Analysis of The Winter’s Tale

voyantI chose to use Voyant to analyze Leontes’s speech that begins in Act 2, Scene 1 at line 108 (page 158 in the Arden book). This speech displays the first signs of jealousy we see from Leontes and it also foreshadows his skepticism about Hermione’s child, indicated by the question he poses to Mamillius about being his true son. While typing the speech in to get my results, I chose to omit extraneous syntax, such as certain determiners like “this” and “a.” I did however keep determiners that directly indicated towards a person, such as “my” and “thou.” Other things, like quantifiers and the word “to” were also removed to provide more relevant results. What I found was that out of 54 words used, 43 were unique, and “my” was most commonly used (4 times). By having him use that particular word so much, Shakespeare emphasizes Leontes’s expressed priority of his own feelings and thoughts over others. As he is speaking about the apparent affair that has erupted between Polixenes and Hermione, he constantly redirects the reader to how this is making him feel and what he thinks of the situation. This selfish attitude fits with his character, as for the majority of the play Leontes displays complete disregard and even villainy towards his friends and family while he believes his reputation and legacy is at stake. Other common words like “entertainment,” “bosom,” and “hot” can fall into the loosely corralled category of sexual language as they all reflect the major tension present at this point in the play.

Full link to results:

http://voyant-tools.org/tool/Cirrus/?corpus=1426968977745.5155&docIndex=0&docId=d1426910482423.4c4b714d-7ff3-0100-e196-1c8dd855dee7

Sinclair, Stéfan and Geoffrey Rockwell. “Summary.” Voyant. 21 Mar. 2015. http://voyant-tools.org/tool/CorpusSummary/. Web

Sisters Three (Shakespearean Sonnet)

Sister dear of lapis lazuli wishes,
Made from cloudless azure tinted washing,
Cerulean chilled waves crashing kisses
Smoothing stone of tourmaline and grieving.

Sister dear of shard and ruby flames so
Bright, on sparking wet stone sharpens fork tongue,
Words of fire and garnet lashing below,
Traitors, liars, thieves all carved too young.

Sister dear of true obsidian snow,
Faded onyx made from bone and steel with
Jaded fingers twisting jet, the heart crow
Engraved, hammered swift as falling sleet myth

Sisters dear of Onyx, Lapis, Ruby
Each hold fast your thread come winter to be.

[Only after I wrote it did I realize I mixed up the order of stressed syllables and unstressed syllables, but I liked it and decided to publish it all the same.]

 

Voyant Analysis for Troilus and Cressida (1.2.172-231)

For a long time, I’ve been having issues with Voyant. But in the dark shadows of yesternight, I gathered up each and every ounce of determination and submitted my hours to analyzing Voyant.
And well, well, wasn’t it fun.
I chose to analyze a portion of Troilus and Cressida, more specifically the dialogue between Pandarus and Cressida as they comment on the passing warriors, Aenaes, Antenor, Hector, Paris, Helenus, and last but not least, Troilus.

My findings? “…mark Troilus above the rest” (1.2.175), “…mark Troilus” (1.2.181-2), “When comes Troilus? I’ll show you Troilus anon…”(1.2.187-8), “Would I could see Troilus now.” (1.2.208) and so on…."...but mark Troilus above the rest." (1.2.178)

“…but mark Troilus above the rest.” (1.2.178)

 

As Pandarus introduces each soldier by name, he emphasizes again and again upon Troilus. Almost as if Cressida would fall in love with the repetition of Troilus’ name, and Pandarus’ deed will be done! (On the contrary, I believe that if mentioned too much, Cressida will start to harbor frustration towards “Brave Troilus, the/ prince of chivalry!” (1.2.220-1). I mean, she does rebuke her uncle by saying “Peace, for shame, peace!” (222))

Similarly, the word “brave” is mentioned quite often. Either Pandarus wants enforce Troilus’ brave nature, or he just lacks a better adjective (seeing how that’s all he uses to describe all of the soldiers). If the “brave” technique is all Pandarus can think of for making Cressida fall head over heels for Troilus, he needs to come up with something better!

“That’s Aeneas; is not that a brave man?” (1.2.180)

“O brave Hector!” (1.2.194)

“…yonder comes Paris!/ Look ye yonder, niece, is’t not a gallant man too, is’t/ not?” (1.2.204-6)

I believe that my findings through Voyant have summarized what’s happening in this passage: Pandarus points out certain soldiers but returns again and again to Troilus, mentioning him so that Troilus will be safely nestled in the back of Cressida’s mind. Evidently, Pandarus has no way of being subtle and acts like a complete “bawd”, selling Troilus to Cressida, in this scene, and vice versa, in others.

 

Writing: Reshuffle

Reshuffle of Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. Romeo’s sanity is in question.
It is somewhat dramatic (as Romeo is in it), but overall it is not much so. I’ve also cut out some of their lines within their speech to make it an easier read (and to hopefully make more sense out of the scene). I was thinking of adding more, maybe I will later.

Enter Clown, Romeo, Mercutio, Kent and Fool.

CLOWN: Will you make me believe that I am not sent for you?

ROMEO: Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here;
This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.

CLOWN: I prithee now, ungird thy strangeness.

MERCUTIO: Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline.
Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.

CLOWN: Out, hyperbolical fiend! How vexest thou this man! Talkest thou nothing but of ladies?

ROMEO: Why, such is love’s transgression.
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest
With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vex’d a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet.

KENT: I cannot conceive you.

ROMEO: He that is strucken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.
Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.

CLOWN: Madman, thou errest: I say, there is no darkness
but ignorance; in which thou art more puzzled than
the Egyptians in their fog.

KENT: Trouble him not, his wits are gone.

FOOL: This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.

Rape of Lucrece

While reading and annotating Rape of Lucrece, I tried to view characters such as Lucrece in varying lights and try to understand  what drives them to make certain desperate decisions such as suicide. I decided to take a bit of a different approach and objectively analyze Lucrece.

The way Lucrece is treated  and labelled by men directly reflects what she deeply values the most about herself. Lucrece values her reputation and appearance greater than her own life and mind. She internalizes her given designations transcribed by men. In the poem Lucrece is heavily objectified by the ones closest to her and she is constantly compared to inanimate subjects and animals forcing her to internalize those characteristics. Lucrece is illustrated as  harmless animal such as “silly lamb” (line 168) to show that she is not perceived as an adult but rather as a naive child.  “Dove” (line 360), “bird” (line 457), “white hind” (line 543) and even “pray” (line 342) are also used indicating her fragile and harmless nature. Lucrece accepts all of these labels given by men and takes on those roles, describing herself as “poor unseasonable doe” (Line 581), “poor frightened deer” (line 1149) and “myself a weakling” (Line 584). This shows that her perception of herself directly affected by men. In a way, she struggles with herself and resents her internalized weakness ascribed by others. For instance, she immediately regrets for not being able to physically fight during the rape : “And wast afread to scratch her wicked foe, Kill both thyself and her for yielding so” (line 1035-1036)

There is also an interesting correlation between having a beautiful body and being virtuous.   Lucrece was described as “as bright as heaven’s beauty” (line 13), “earthly saint” (line 84) suggesting that somehow individual’s virtue and purity is coupled with outward appearance. Few times, descriptions of her beautiful bodily appearance is associated with having an innocent and unspoiled mind that of a saint and heaven. In a sense, her body image reflects her mind and soul. To demonstrate this, Shakespeare also mentions: “Within his thought her heavenly image sits” (line 288), “Hath barred him from the blessed thing he sought” (line 340) also supporting the idea of her body image being intertwined with her divine soul, and emphasizing her virtue, innocence and unspoiled mind. Lucrece accepts these elevated roles. She indirectly implies her pure state by mentioning: “stain so pure a bed” (Line 684) and calling herself a “The silver-shining queen he would distain”  (Line 786).

Other times, she was equivalent to man-made objects “virtuous monument” (line 391) and “Her breasts, like ivory globes” (407). Once again, she internalizes objectifications and says :”To fill with worm-holes stately monuments” (Line 946). As illustrated by the quote, she is obliquely calling herself “stately monument”, viewing herself as an elevated and majestic man made object, created to be displayed and valued due to its appearance.   The fact that she describes herself as a possession and an object created to be admired for appearance further supports the idea of her dependancy on reputation/appearance. As a result, this constant coupling of  “pure body” with “pure mind” intensifies the pressure to remain untouched to keep  an elevated reputation in the society.

As a matter of fact, Lucrece’s sense of identity is so strongly intertwined with her body that she would rather commit an unspeakable sin of suiciding with a better reputation than live on with a ruined image in the society. “But she has lost a dearer thing than life” (line 687), “To live or die, which of the twain were better When life is shamed and death reproach’s debtor” (line 1154-1155). Another interesting incidence that stands out is when one of the servants showed up to deliver Lucrece’s letter to her husband. Interestingly and oddly Lucrece was more preoccupied with thought of servant knowing about last night’s act rather than being devastated by the rape and violence. She was more worried about people finding it out and destroying her reputation as an individual with “Immaculate and spotless is my mind” (line 1656).  “Imagine every eye beholds their blame; For Lucrece thought he blush’d to see her shame:” (lines 1343-1344) and “The more she thought he spied in her some blemish.” (line 1358) demonstrate her concern of the servant exposing her “blemish” or in other words rape rather than being emotionally preoccupied with her traumatizing experience. Lucrece’s egoistic act of suicide reflects that she values her reputation in the society far greater than her children, husband, father and even herself. This shows that one of her deepest values in life is fame. The fact that she is willing to leave  behind without even worrying or mentioning  well being of those closest to her, shows that Lucrece is more concerned with honour and shame of rape that will destroy her reputation.  Ironically, importance of her reputation is most obvious when Lucrece  lusts for bloody revenge, seeking blood and death to redeem her prestige as pure and virtuous individual:

“Mine honour I’ll bequeath unto the knife

That wounds my body so dishonoured.

‘Tis honour to deprive dishonour’s life;” (Lines 1184-1186)

“For in my death I murder shameful scorn:

My shame so dead, mine honour is new-born” (Lines 1189-1190)

I hope you guys enjoyed my quick analysis! Any comments/ideas/arguments/evidences against my take on Lucrece are greatly appreciated 😀

Quick note: the reason I thought she might have children is because Tarquin said : “Then, for thy husband and thy children’s sake ” (line 534)

 

Big Idea 7: Topics – Light vs. Darkness

In Rape of Lucrece,  I noticed a heavy play on the themes of light vs. darknHateful, vaporous, and foggy Nightess/ night.

Initially, when Tarquin is planning out his heinous act, he says (possibly out of guilt):

“Fair torch, burn out thy light, and lend it not/ To darken her whose light excelleth thine” (190-1)

Here, Tarquin describes Lucrece’s virtue as a light brighter than a torch (or in this case his lust). In the same stanza, he recognizes that his act is that of darkness/ evil. Tarquin calls his act the “blackest sin” (334).

This theme is also evident when, during the night, Tarquin first rests his eyes on Lucrece, he is (once again) astonished by “a greater light/… that she reflects so brightly” (375-6).

Moreover, when Tarquin initiates his crime, it is noted that Lucrece loses her ‘light’:

“… her locked up eyes,/…/ are  by his flaming torch dimmed and controlled.” (446-8)

Furthermore, after Tarquin ravishes her and runs off, Lucrece expresses her shame by cursing the Night and wishing that it will never be daylight again.

Shakespeare uses the theme of light and darkness to highlight the aspects of innocence and evil throughout the play, where the light is symbolized to be pure and untouched and the darkness is evil and full of evil opportunities.