The Instigator
shakuntala
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Poetaster
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

These Variations-on sonnets by Shakespeare capture the real essence of his times

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Poetaster
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/28/2013 Category: Arts
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,743 times Debate No: 36080
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

shakuntala

Pro

Not for Duncan-if Duncan reads these poems knowing the type I put here then it is because he wants to so then dont disparage me or the author of the poems

These Variations-on sonnets by Shakespeare capture the real essence of his times they are full of bawdy of sensuality of risque and down right good humor

http://www.scribd.com...

"preface
Ah those sublime Chopin Variations on Mozart's 'Don Giovanni': those ecstatic Brahms Variations on Caprice no 24 of Paganini oh to luxuriate in variations on an Ode on Melancholy by Keats to quiver o"er variations on shellys Ozymandios ah to palpitate to gush to flush to spurt forth paroxysm of bliss on variations on sonnets by Shakespeare "
Poetaster

Con

I plan to argue that the work cited by Pro fails in some critical way to capture the essence of Shakespeare and “his times”. The criteria of judgment which I make available to myself are:

-Historical correctness of format (rhyme scheme, metering, line count, are all highly definitive aspects of Shakespeare and his contemporary milieu).

- Historical correctness of word usage and expressed sentiment (lexical and attitudinal anachronisms run contrary to capturing the real essence of a historical period).

-Artistic accuracy of tone, theme, and topic (all three are stylistically paramount to any attempt to “capture the real essence” of Shakespeare and his time).

A gross violation of any one or combination of these central criteria would disqualify any poem as a successful encapsulation of Shakespeare and his times. I also want to establish that merely spoofing Shakespeare (even successfully) wouldn’t qualify as “capturing the real essence of his times”. Fulfilling that condition isn't simply a matter of imitation, but of emulation, which requires that the original be matched in both degree and kind.

For example, it’s true that Shakespeare used bawdy humor in his plays and sonnets, but an amplification of these elements to a level of overt hyperbole (for example) wouldn’t count as “capturing the real essence” of them. Such an effort might succeed as a parodical distortion of the original work (through a type of imitation), but it wouldn't succeed as an emulation of it or the "real essence of its time". In turn, the things which the poems cited by Pro should successfully emulate are outlined by the three criteria above.

Now, it actually wasn't difficult to find several cases in which the work conspicuously violates these critera (I chose one of the more tame examples). Consider sonnet 30 in the work cited by Pro:

"When to the sessions of sweet silent thought,
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the loss of so many fvcks I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
But then the cocks eye precum comes (unused to flow)
For lovely cvnts hid in death's dateless night,
And oozes afresh oer lust's long since cancelled woe,
And throbs tumescent at many a cvnts vanished sight.
Then can I pull at cvnts lomg gone,
And move from woe to happiness to tell oer
The gay account of girls-bemoaned moan,
Which I now lay as if not layed before.
But if the while I think on thee (OLD friend)
All losses are returned, and sorrows have no end." [1]

Now, our intuitions have already reacted to this poem without any need for anaylsis, and I guarantee they aren't convinced that this is a variation on Shakespeare or an encapsulation of his time in history. The tone of the poem is one of pornographic lust narrated by unsymbolic descriptions of the human anatomy: a decidedly unshakesperean mode of expression. Moreover, the use of the word "precum" is a glaring anachronism and an instance of clumsy, leering slang: a full infraction of artistic and linguistic accuracy with respect to Shakespeare and his time. The word "cum" as a noun meaning "male ejaculate" traces its origin to pornographic writings after 1920. [2] The earliest attestation of "precum" which I could find occurs in 1996. [3]

This immediately consigns the entire corpus of sonnets to the category of "horny spoof". It doesn't capture anything like the "real essence" of Shakespeare's time.

Now, Shakespeare himself did address the topic of lust, but in ways that were legitimately clever and scrupulous (but not undaring), unlike the crude pelvic-thrustings-in-verse of the above sonnet. For comparison, the following (known as Sonnet 151) is considered among the bawdiest of Shakespeare's sonnets [4]:

"Love is too young to know what conscience is,
Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?
Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove.
For, thou betraying me, I do betray
My nobler part to my gross body's treason;
My soul doth tell my body that he may
Triumph in love; flesh stays no farther reason,
But rising at thy name doth point out thee
As his triumphant prize; proud of this pride,
He is contented thy poor drudge to be,
To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.
No want of conscience hold it that I call
Her ‘love’ for whose dear love I rise and fall." [4]

Here he achieves an expression of troubled concupiscence which doesn't sound like a direct transcription of public self-fondling. Thus, there is no congruence of language, sentiment, tone, or "real essence" between this sonnet and the one which Pro has to defend; there is no way to justify Pro's sonnets as "variations on Shakespeare". They fail to capture the essence of him and his time by their use of modern slang mixed with inept, pseudo-archaic pornographic writing. The many other criterial violations in the given work would be superfluous to mention (although there are two more rounds to go).

In any case, from this single example, the resolution is denied. But wait, there's more: every sonnet in Pro's collection is equally as anachronistic and unabashedly oversexed as this one sample; some are even worse:

"Take all my fvcks, my love..." [1]

"Shall I compare thy cvnt to a summers' day?" [1]

"But thy cvnt's glory shall not fade..." [1]

"Sometimes too hot the eye of the c0ck shines..." [1]

On and on it disgustingly goes: the relentless, horny doggerel of some dreadfully creepy Fakespeare.

Vote Con.


[1] http://www.scribd.com...

[2] http://etymonline.com...

[3] http://en.wiktionary.org...

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
shakuntala

Pro

con says
"For example, it"s true that Shakespeare used bawdy humor in his plays and sonnets, but an amplification of these elements to a level of overt hyperbole (for example) wouldn"t count as "capturing the real essence" of them"

I am not talking about what Shakespeare wrote himself-published
but about how These Variations-on sonnets by Shakespeare capture the real essence of his times

con says
that they
"wouldn"t count as "capturing the real essence" of them"

I can prove you wrong very simply-Shakespeare times out in the real world was bawdy swearing, ribaldry so much so the state and church policed it with vigor

http://hfriedberg.web.wesleyan.edu...

POLICING SEX

THE "BAWDY" COURTS
quote

"In Shakespeare's time, church and state struggled to control sexuality. Most parishes had Bishop's or consistory courts that dealt with moral offenses"adultery, whoredom, incest, drunkenness, SWEARING g, RIBALDRY, "

further on a bit less bawdy
History of Henry VI, Part II
http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org...

Jack Cade. Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, sitting
upon London-stone, I charge and command that, of the
city's cost, the PISSING-conduit run nothing but 2605
claret wine this first year of our reign"

and

http://nfs.sparknotes.com...
Romeo and Juliet > Act 2, Scene 4,

MERCUTIO
'Tis no less, I tell you, for the bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the PRICK of noon.

THESE VARIATIONS CAPTURE THE BAWDY ESSENCE OF HIS TIMES EXACTLY
Poetaster

Con

Pro has failed to demonstrate the following necessary, but very simple, things:

-How an incompetent strand of insensible stanzas qualify as“variations on Shakespeare’s sonnets”

-How anachronistic slang from 1990’s smut fiction serve to “capture the essence of his times”.

In his rebuttal, Pro points out that people swore and had sex during Shakespeare’s lifetime. Now, if this were to defend his resolution, the practice of human sexuality and the use of profanity would need to be somehow "the real essence" of the Elizabethan era. It is decidedly not.

In fact, that period was more strongly characterized by an enormous national interest in religious purification: the Protestant reformation had just established itself, and the Puritan movement was quickly gaining prominence. Virginity was considered so sacred at the time that cults were established in worship of it. The high appreciation of virginity and sexual purity was not a fringe movement: it was the national sentiment of England. Indeed, Queen Elizabeth (for whom the era is named and who stands at the very center of its definition) entitled herself “The Virgin Queen” before her court and her subjects. She defined the era as one whose “real essence” was concerned with sentiments of sexual purity. [1-3]

Sure, there were scummy portions of the populace, who reveled in such unforgivable sins as “premarital sex”, but these things are not definitive of Shakespeare’s era or its "real essence". Thus, randomly tossing the same handful of curse words (some of which weren’t even in use until after Shakespeare’s death) into a tiresome roulette wheel of “thee’s, thou’s, and thy’s,” which is how Pro's sonnets seem to be written, fails to capture the “real essence” of Shakespeare’s time.

The sonnets defended by Pro comprise, at best, a poorly done spoof of some generically archaic masturbation diary: not Shakespearean; not Elizabethan. They don’t capture the “real essence” of these things in any standing historical or literary sense, and neither can they be defensibly called a “variation on Shakespeare’s sonnets” to begin with.

Pro's own source is the downfall of his resolution here. The sonnets do nothing to capture the "real essence" of the Elizabethan era. The fact that people had sex with each other and annoyed the church with swear words is not definitive of, or essential to, that era.

-------------------
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
shakuntala

Pro

con says

"Pro has failed to demonstrate the following necessary, but very simple, things:

-How an incompetent strand of insensible stanzas qualify as"variations on Shakespeare"s sonnets"

the post is about the variations being the essence of the times

not about
them qualifying as sonnets Shakespeare wrote

i have given a link showing the bawdy nature of his times-in the streets
con has not refuted that
so has not refuted my post at all

con goes on about that the variations are not Shakespearean-but that is not what the post is about

con says

"In his rebuttal, Pro points out that people swore and had sex during Shakespeare"s lifetime. Now, if this were to defend his resolution, the practice of human sexuality and the use of profanity would need to be somehow "the real essence" of the Elizabethan era. It is decidedly not."

again as my link shows the state and the church policed bawdiness because it was seen as a problem of the times and endemic to the times ie its essence

i have thus have given a link in proof my claim
con gives no supporting proof
all he goes on about is the variations as not qualifying as sonnets Shakespeare wrote-but that is not what the post is about
just read the heading
These Variations-on sonnets by Shakespeare capture the real essence of his times"

and I have proved that

con has not -no supporting evidence just his distaste at the variations- and all con arguments show
basically is he does not like the variations so he just constructs some fallacious argument to justify his distaste
and not even an argument on topic
I
Poetaster

Con

Well, it's disappointing to see Pro pass up every opportunity to explain himself and his thesis coherently: his fragmented use of the English language is nearly as disturbing as his fragmented understanding of English history.

He wants to say that the central and definitive nature of Shakespeare's time (the Elizabethan period) was that of some shameless, indiscreet orgy (which is what his "sonnets" evoke). He tries to support this with a source describing the heightened efforts of the church to regulate sexuality at that time.

Humorously, this actually runs contrary to his resolution: the fact that England had notably reacted with disdain and prohibition to its own sexuality is actually a consequence of the period's increased interest in chastity and religious purity, not a decreased interest in those things. Pro's interpretation of his own source doesn't even make sense, and he's made no real argument to support the resolution.

But independently of this, I've amply shown that his characterization of England during the Elizabethan period is ahistorical and false, [1] but Pro just "plays blind" to this and wastes his round. He refuses to recognize that the central and eponymous figure of that epoch, Queen Elizabeth, designated herself "The Virgin Queen", and defined the era as one which was institutionally fixated on sexual purity and religious devotion. [2, 3] He passes sliently over the fact that the Puritans began rising to prominence in the theological discourse of England, riding that wave of chastity and discipline. The nation was reaching a cultural apex of artistic and literary sophistication now known as the "English Rennaissance". [4] That is the real essence of the Elizabethan era, that is how historians understand the period [4], and that is what a poem would need to capture in order to capture the "real essence" of Shakespeare's time.

Yet Pro thinks that his awful Fakespeare "sonnets", such as the following, serve to more truly epitomize the "real essence" of Elizabethan times:

"Then if for my fvck , thou my fvck receivest,
I cannot blame thee, for my fvck thou usest,
But yet be blamed, if thou thy self deceivest
By wilful hast of my fvck refusest.
I do forgive thy fvckery gentle thief
Although thou fvck me into poverty:
And yet my fvck knows it is a greater grief
To have a dead fvck , than to bear the fvckless injury.
Lascivious fvck, in whom all pleasures well shows,
Fvck me with zest for we must not be foes." [5]

Pro has tried to escape the failure of his sonnets to look anything like Shakespearean poetry by saying that his resolution doesn't claim their success in that respect. Now he's weakly muttering that they somehow capture the 'real essence of the time' anyway, however unshakespearean they are. But the fact is that Shakespeare's poetry did capture the 'real essence of his time'; as the Encyclopedia Britannica notes: "William Shakespeare, poet and dramatist, mirrored the age in verse that lifted the English language to its fullest beauty." [6] Therefore, if one fails to capture Shakespeare in verse, then one fails to capture the "real essence of his times". It really is that simple.

Even if the resolution were true, Pro has done nothing to coherently defend it. Vote Con (if you'd like).


--------
[1] Viz. this entire debate, and sources.
[2] Susan Doran, "Juno Versus Diana: The Treatment of Elizabeth I's Marriage in Plays and Entertainments, 1561–1581," Historical Journal 38 (1995): 257–74
[3] Elizabeth I: A Life, David Loades, pp. 61

[4] English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, Lewis, pp. 1
[5] http://www.scribd.com...

[6] http://web.archive.org...






Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Poetaster 4 years ago
Poetaster
Ok, I ask only to warn you against it if you hadn't, or to commiserate with you if you had!

I was actually worried that this debate might get moderated for those quotes...
Posted by Enji 4 years ago
Enji
You provided a decent variety of his material, so I didn't visit his link.
Posted by Poetaster 4 years ago
Poetaster
Did you read his material?
Posted by Enji 4 years ago
Enji
Ew.
Posted by Poetaster 4 years ago
Poetaster
His link gave my computer a venereal disease.
Posted by Enji 4 years ago
Enji
In other words, he wrote it.
Posted by shakuntala 4 years ago
shakuntala
you find this material for free download
at

http://www.scribd.com...
Posted by Poetaster 4 years ago
Poetaster
Shakuntala,

Those poems sound like they were written by syphilis itself. Where and why do you find this material?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Enji 4 years ago
Enji
shakuntalaPoetasterTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: As Con states, "it's disappointing to see Pro pass up every opportunity to explain himself and his thesis coherently; his fragmented use of the English language is nearly as disturbing as his fragmented understanding of English history." Con shows that the sonnets provided by Pro are distinctly and obviously not Shakespearian, that the sonnets do not capture the essence of the Elizabethan Era which was not one of bawdiness, but of sexual purity (using Con's source as evidence of this), and that by not resembling anything remotely comparable to Shakespeare they fail to capture the essence of his times as Shakespeare is widely accepted to have captured the essence of his times in verse. Even if the burden of proof were on Con (not on Pro), Con would have won this debate. Arguments to Con. Con turns pro's sources as well as using his own; Sources to Con. Pro doesn't use proper grammar; S&G to Con.