English 395 - Sonnet # 14 Exercise 1

English 395 - Sonnet # 14 Exercise 1


The assignment: pdf


Planetary Game: Cameron, Hart, Halle

Taking on a board game like approach, our project uses many images that were noted in the sonnet. Beginning with the starting space, the giant star, as well as the other tiny stars, allude to the mention of "stars" in the sonnet. Adding to the appearance of the board game, the dice represent the experiences one goes through in life and, as one interpretation might suggest, how the experiences are left up to chance. Although, Shakespeare's sonnet suggests that the only way to achieve beauty is to procreate. The justice symbol above the start star represents judgment while the two season squares, the lighting and the sun, allude to the "seasons," as mentioned in the sonnet. The eyes, as well as the planets, are also spaces to land on, which represent the mention of "eyes" and "astronomy." Ultimately, at the end of the game, it is up to the individual to choose whether they want to procreate and live a life of beauty, or not to procreate and live a life that doesn't involve pure truth or beauty. The baby, treasure, and the crown represent the life of beauty, which also is a representation of "princes." The life involving no beauty is represented by the flames, green skull and crossbones, devil owl, and the skeleton.


Double Baby Trouble: Tessa, Lucas, Iftekhar

The planet and the eye represent contrasting ways of prognostication. Plagues, dearth, and evil are represented in the planet because these are the events "astronomers" usually predicted using the alignment of planets and stars. We represented plagues, dearth, and evil on the planet by first creating a dark background. We then pasted images of people contracted with and dying from the plague, an image of the effects of a terrible drought, and a little devil to depict evil. The eye contains blue and pink paper, representing female and male babies. The hearts represent truth and beauty. In the center of the eye is a small child, a more physical representation of the theme of reproduction and continuing beauty. The child represents the need for him to procreate so as to avoid "Thy end... truth's and beauty's doom and date". The child is attached to the eye by ribbon which is connected to pillars of truth. The eye itself is blood-shot and red to communicate the feeling of stress that comes along with being in love.


Wedding Scene: Shalini and James

William Shakespeare's 14th sonnet stimulates procreation through the spread of the truth and beauty that defines one's existence. Our visual examines various dimensions that are illustrated in his sonnet, such as where his judgment derives from and what he envisions for whomever he is speaking to.

A wedding scene is captured, where a bride and groom face each other at the altar, completely engrossed in each other's presence. Beyond their vision on the opposing walls, however, are portraits of what may happen whether or not they decide to follow through with the wedding and the implied propagation. One image conveys a life following childbirth and all its bright and charming appeal. The other wall depicts a dark and destitute future, rife with heartbreak and sadness, including coffin that will trap the recipient's shining existence, never to be shared. The walls explore the aspect of what futures Shakespeare can predict whether they choose to have children or not.

At the back of the church lies the Eye of Horus, portraying Shakespeare's perspective. The Eye can see the wedding as well as two mirrors, which reflect the two futures on the separate walls. While The Eye's vision is limited, as denoted in Shakespeare's writing that he cannot fathom the future in any other way, it can still see the ultimatum presented to the recipient in whether or not they should have children.


Frog Space Baby: Aaron, Jon, Randall

For our visual representation we decided to go with the premise of depicting Shakespeare's prognosticative approach with this sonnet. We have used a glass bowl to represent a crystal ball and his sense of knowing what the future holds. Each picture within the crystal ball represents a prediction Shakespeare concludes that results from the central idea of the sonnet. The message revolves around the positive and negative effects he foresees with and without our procreation. We chose to keep all of the pictures in black and white to represent each of these ideas being possible predictions contingent upon what he sees as the meaning of existence.

Shakespeare makes several references to making judgments and drawing information from stars. We included pictures of stars to present the vastness of the universe and him making predictions for it. We include a specific image of stars within an eye, as Shakespeare says, "but from thine eyes my knowledge I derive, and constant stars in them I read such art." The rest of the images are literal depictions of his predictions, or lack thereof. He mentions several things he is not able to predict, such as states of the weather be it thunderstorms and wind, if the land will be dearth and full of scarcity, or if a prince with have luck and wealth. We include pictures of a thunderstorm, a dry desert land and a chest full of coins and jewels to represent these images in the sonnet. The last image we include is a mixture of both the possibility of dearth and scarcity and a hope for life. The picture shows a single thriving tree in the center of a desert. The most vivid element in our piece is an infant doll placed in the center, representing the "truth and beauty" Shakespeare emphasizes from producing children. He says that without this, it will result in the "doom" of truth and beauty, thus the representation of the images in black and white.


Tarot: Sarah and Megan

[The poster] features an image of Shakespeare as a fortune teller because in the poem, he prognosticates that truth and beauty will end if the person who the poem is about does not procreate.

There is a crystal ball with eyes in front of Shakespeare because he says he gets his knowledge from the person's eyes. We painted a galaxy behind Shakespeare to show that although he could get his knowledge from the stars, he instead chooses to derive his knowledge from this person's eyes.

The tarot cards that surround him represent what good things might happen if the person does procreate. If you flip the plastic covering over, the Tarot cards change to show the negative effects if this person does not procreate. There is a key on the back to explain what each tarot card represents.


Atlas: Marie, Jacob, Katie

In our representation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet #14 we chose to repurpose the iconic image of Atlas balancing the world on his shoulders. The materials we used to create our diorama were googly eyes, black and white photos, staples, a wooden model and a styrofoam ball.

Atlas represents the young man whom Shakespeare is addressing, and the fate of all things beautiful and wonderful the world (as depicted in the photographs on the styrofoam ball) rests on his shoulders and his ability to procreate. Beneath him is what the world might fall into should he fail his task. The numerous googly eyes which cover Atlas’ body are in reference to lines 9 through 11 of the sonnet in which Shakespeare says:

“But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And constant stars in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive”

We surmised that, based upon this claim by Shakespeare, a greater number of eyes might equal a greater amount of knowledge, truth and beauty derived.


In Your Eye: Jason, Dehja, Jonathan

Our group felt the eye was the most appropriate symbol of the sonnet for a variety of reasons. We begin first by looking at the outside of the object. The round shape and four points representing the "stars" from which we cannot draw judgement. The red veins represent the plagues or misfortunes that may take place in life, the very shape of them mimicking forks of lightning, the personal storms, discerned from Shakespeares "thunder, rain and wind." Further accentuating the eye, we felt the sonnet's underlying theme is about where one's focus should be. When looking AT one's self, it becomes a very basic and dry existence (hence the red). However, when one chooses to focus outwardly and on others, we can see what can be acheived by turning the object over. By opening one's eyes, we are open to see the truths and beauty of life. The four points now represent the "constant stars" in the eye, a twinkling, which can further relate to procreation, the speaker's main objective. The center represents the core of the eye as well as conception. The world serving as the egg, a reminder of the one thing thing that makes this world worthwhile. The pictures show the hope, love, and experience that comes with CREATING and sharing life. If one continues to make this their primary focus, they will be able to truly see the things that matter and are no longer blinded by the restraints that come from looking at ourselves alone. Otherwise, all we would have done and seen in life will surely die with us.


On to exercise 2