Sonnet 105 (William Shakespeare) | Σονέτο 105 (Ουίλλιαμ Σαίξπηρ) [Let not my love be called idolatry: Μην πούνε την αγάπη μου ειδωλολατρία]


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Sonnet 105 (William Shakespeare) | Σονέτο 105 (Ουίλλιαμ Σαίξπηρ) [Let not my love be called idolatry: Μην πούνε την αγάπη μου ειδωλολατρία]

Let not my love be called idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Therefore my verse to constancy confined,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,
Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
Fair, kind, and true, have often lived alone,
Which three till now, never kept seat in one.

Μην πούνε την αγάπη μου ειδωλολατρία,
μήτε είδωλο να ιδούνε τον αγαπητόν,
επειδή τα τραγούδια μου όλα είν’ υμνωδία
για ’ναν, από ’ναν, πάντα ίδιον και πιστόν.
Καλός και σήμερα ο καλός κι αύριο καλός,
πάντα πιστός κι αυτό είν’ εξαίρεση και θάμα,
γι’ αυτό κι ο στίχος μου για να ’ναι σταθερός
δεν έχει ποικιλία, τι εκφράζει το ίδιο πράμα.
Ωραίος, καλός, πιστός είν’ όλο μου το θέμα,
ωραίος, καλός, πιστός τρεις λέξες διαφορά,
τις συναλλάζω όλο ξοδεύοντας το πνέμα,
μια τριάδα ιδέες που τόσα λένε θαμαστά.
Ωραίος, καλός, πιστός συχνά ’ταν χωρισμένα,
ποτέ δεν είχαν σμίξει ως τώρα μέσα σ’ ένα.

Μετάφραση: Βασίλης Ρώτας

This curious sonnet treads once again the very thin line between arcane humour and outright blasphemy, which has already been seen in Sonnets 34 (Peter's denial of Christ) and 52 (the Beatitudes), and it continues in 108, which has an irreverent parody of the 'Our Father'. Here the theme is that of the Holy Trinity and the poet's argument seems to be that his love is not idolatrous because it is a worship of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, which three he transmutes into fairness, kindness and truthfulness, all seen in his beloved. It is as if the poet is responding to an accusation, and defending himself against the charge of idolatrous worship which has been levelled against him. He uses the refutation that his worship of the beloved youth has the same character as the Christian worship of God in the Holy Trinity, and therefore it cannot be idolatrous. His love is not an idol, but a holy trinity of beauty, goodness and truth.

Commentators have on the whole found this sonnet dull and repetetive, lacking in any metaphor which might enliven it. I am more inclined to think that its life springs from the fact that it takes a rather perilous walk along a precipice. In the 16th. century to be on the wrong side of a religious divide could be a matter of life and death. Elizabeth herself was probably fairly tolerant, and could be pacified with a formula of words. But there were many religious fanatics who were ready to insist that 'He who is not with me is against me'. Being a Catholic was obviously dangerous, and being seen as a non-believer risked the threat of denunciation from all sides. Either of these would be liable to the charge of being traitors since they could be portrayed as attempting to undermine the government's declared policies. It is therefore quite difficult to decide how one should interpret this sonnet. Is it a piece of frivolous sophistry which supposedly frees the speaker from the accusation of idolatry? Or is it meant to be taken seriously, to the extent that we are to understand the poet as genuinely believing that his love of the youth is comparable to the Christian love of God, and therefore non-idolatrous? Or are we perhaps expected to interpret the poem as an allegory of some sort, of divine love, or of self-deception, or of human love?

« Last Edit: 05 Feb, 2020, 11:31:45 by spiros »


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