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   Sonnet 41

Read by Claire Marchionne
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Charles Lamb
Edmond Malone
1741-1812

Line 8: Colin Burrow in his Oxford edition, writes: "Many editors amend Q's he to she.  The bitternes of Q's he, though, is right: the woman initiates an encounter from which she emerges the loser.  The suggestion of blame directed at the friend for his active part in prevailing suits the sourness of the sonnet."  However Claire Marchionne, the reader, and I agree with John Kerrigan in his Penguin edition and with The Amazing Website of Shakespeare's Sonnets which says: "Editors are divided on the merits of retaining the he of Q or changing it to she, an emendation suggested by Edmond Malone, since it is the woman who does the wooing in this case.  Leaving it as he suggests possibly that the woman allows the man to feel that he has made the conquest.  In such circumstances the man might wish to think that he is the one who has prevailed."

The Lovers by Pablo Picasso
The Lovers
by Pablo Picasso
Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits,
When I am sometime absent from thy heart,
Thy beauty, and thy years full well befits,
For still temptation follows where thou art.
Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won,
Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assail'd;
And when a woman woos, what woman's son
Will sourly leave her till she have prevail'd?
Ay me! but yet thou mightst my seat forbear,
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth,
Who lead thee in their riot even there
Where thou art forced to break a twofold truth:--
  Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee,
  Thine by thy beauty being false to me.

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