Saturday, January 8, 2011

Venus and Adonis lines 571-end


A lot's been going on with V and A, so let's dig in:
A tells V he needs to leave. V asks if she will see him tomorrow and he says no. She continues to try to get in his pants with no success. He wants to go on a boar hunt tomorrow and she begs him not to go because it's dangerous. V then goes off into random-land, telling him for several stanzas to hunt hares instead. She continues to plead and he continues to deny her. He rips her apart, saying her feelings for him are not love but lust. He leaves and she follows him, losing him in the dark. She stays up all night crying. When she realizes it's morning, she goes in search of A again. Instead, she finds a boar covered in blood. She freaks out and starts cursing death. Then she thinks she hears A's voice and backtracks, flattering death. Then V DOES find A but he's dead. She curses love, his body turns into a flower, she plucks it, and apparently lives as a sad hermit spinster for the rest of existence.

Wow. This thing got crazy all of a sudden. I am particularly intrigued by the animals that play a part in the story. First we get some horse love. There's that weird rabbit thing. Also, we hear all about the boar and how dangerous it is. She talks about how it could kill him, thereby 'killing' her. I think it's kind of funny because if the boar hadn't killed him, what would be different? He doesn't want her. He would continue to turn her down and she would eventually turn into sad spinster anyway. It's fate. Adonis IS the boar. That's interesting too because Venus is Love and it is love that killed her. There's a parallel there. Following me?

I also think it's pretty hilarious that Shakespeare says himself in line 770 that this is an 'idle overhandled theme'. Yeah. So let's write about it again. Hello.
He also says in line 806, 'the text is old, the orator too green." I'm wondering if this is a shout-out to himself. If so, I can dig it.

I'm assuming this is Shakespeare's little explanation of why love is so difficult? Love scorned now scorns lovers forever? What do you think?

Also, we are going to start talking more about the development of Shakespeare's female characters vs. his male characters. I see a trend going on here! Think about it.

Quote of the day:
"Love comforteth like sunshine after rain,
But Lust's effect is tempest after sun.
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain;
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done.
Love surfeits not, Lust like a glutton dies;
Love is all truth, Lust full of forged lies."
-Adonis, lines 799-804

For tomorrow: Henry 6, Part 1 background info

1 play and one poem down. 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and 4 poems to go. Bring it on.

-Rebecca the Conqueror


  1. I wonder if/how we might interpret Shakespeare's statements about love, sex, and gender issues differently if we knew he were gay or bisexual. In recent months, during my thesis research, I read some matter-of-fact mentions of this idea. (Since this is off topic from my focus, I did not document the sources, such that I cannot cite them at this moment.) I was surprised, because I never heard anyone make the claim before, and the writer/s made the declaration with the attitude that the knowledge was well known. Shakespeare was casually included among a list of names of other artists who are generally accepted as having been gay or bisexual. Does anyone on this blog know anything about Shakespeare's GLBT status? Of course, people question so much about the man, concerning his identity and authorship of the plays credited to him, that there seems to be so much doubt about his biography.

  2. I will admit, that in all my studies of Shakespeare, spanning 43 years and multiple continents, I have never before read, heard or thought that Shakespeare was gay.

    Of course, Dumbledore was off my gay-dar too...