Shakespeare (Sonnet 144 and 152)


AG: So, where do we go from there?. Here’s one that’s totally disillusioned. Sonnet 144 – It’s the one that was..later on.. (They’re) talking about the two loves, the dark lady and the boyfriend – “Two loves I have of comfort and despair” (It’s not in the book so I’m just reading it)

Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest me still;
The better angel is a man right fair,
The worser spirit a woman colour’d ill.
To win me soon to hell,

{interpret “hell” as “cunt”, all through this  (or that’s what the faggot, (W.H.) Auden says in his Preface)

To win me soon to hell, my female evil                                                                                   Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And whether that my angel be turn’d fiend
Suspect I may, but not directly tell;
But being both from me, both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another’s hell:
Yet this shall I ne’er know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.

Now, “fire my good one out” – the footnote here says “communicate venereal disease”, and “in another’s hell” – “with allusion to the female sexual organ” – So that seems to be what was going on between them. He won’t know whether his boyfriend’s been true to him or has been making out with a girlfriend unless he finds out when his boyfriend comes back with syphilis or something, or there is something about it like that, I don’t know if that’s it. That’s what the commentators say in this kind of funny vulgar humanization of the the  Sonnets


AG: So how does it end? Well, the last of the significant ones in the whole set is..well, finally he sort of gives, you can see him giving up finally on the whole thing – he finally does get over it, or realizes that he’s been lying to himself, that the whole thing was… that it’s over. The affair is over. The party’s over. – “In loving thee, thou knowest I am foresworn…”

Peter Orlovsky: Which one is this?

AG: (Sonnet 152) – “In loving thee thou know’st I am forsworn..” – (What’s “forsworn”? – broken my marriage vows, or broken vows, or lied in one way or another) – “In loving thee thou know’st I am forsworn/But thou art twice forsworn, to me love  swearing/In act thy bed-vow broke.. ”  –  (So, apparently, they really were in bed, and made a vow together or something, that they’d be faithful, and “in act” (in your action), you broke the bed vow) – ” “In loving thee thou know’st I am forsworn/But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing/In act thy bed-vow broke and new faith torn/In vowing new hate after new love bearing/. But why of two oaths’ breach do I accuse thee,/When I break twenty? I am perjured most;/For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee/And all my honest faith in thee is lost,/For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness,/Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy,/And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,/Or made them swear against the thing they see;/For I have sworn thee fair; more perjur’d I/To swear against the truth so foul a lie!

So he’s really down on his friend now. He’s regretting this thing – “I said you were beautiful, and I said you were going to love me, and I said eternal angelic eye that you were going to be the great merciful one for me, and you were going to be the great master and you were…. Please Master, come along and, take me”, and you were going to be nice to me, and all along I was lying to myself, and I was lying to you, and, so I’m the big liar. So he finally says.. So he’s finally realizing he’s self-deceived, in a way,, but also embittered and accusing, and that’s the last (I guess, in this arrangement) of the Sonnets, that’s how it all ended, just like Life

Student: There’s a hundred-and-fifty-two of them?

AG: No, there’s a hundred-and-fifty-four in this book

Student: That’s an incredibly long epic poem (he writes)

AG: It is.  A story.

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning  at approximately seventy-four-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately seventy-nine-and-a-quarter minutes in]

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