Play Sonnet 146


Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
[Feeding] these rebel powers that thee array;
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body’s end?
Then soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:
So shall thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,
And Death once dead, there’s no more dying then.

In Sonnet 146 the addresses to his soul a pleading appeal to value inner qualities and satisfaction rather than outward appearance.

Billy asks his soul why it allows his exterior vanity to cause him such inner misery. Souls spend so little time in bodies in the long run, and we waste so much time decorating the houses of our souls, making nothing more than prettier food for worms. He decides upon inner enrichment, so while death may feed on his body, his soul will be victorious.

Will’s Wordplay
The missing text at the beginning of line two is generally attributed to be a printing error, since in the earliest version of the sonnet the second line begins with a repetition of the last three words of the previous lines, commonly called an eye-skip error, which breaks the iambic pentameter. Shakespeare’s intention for the line is a subject of debate among scholars, with most modern scholars accepting the emendation, “feeding”, based on internal evidence. [1] Other guesses include “Thrall to”, “Fool’d by”, “Hemm’d by”, “Foil’d by”, “Fenced by”, “Flatt’ring”, “Spoiled by”, “Lord of”, and “Pressed by”.

Scholar’s Corner
The extent to which the sonnet actually presents conventional Christian arguments about the relationship between body and soul is a matter of considerable critical debate. John Crowe Ransom counters an older tradition of reading the sonnet in straightforward Christian terms by making the general observation that the “divine terms which the soul buys are not particularly Christian: there are few words in the poem that would directly indicate a conventional religious dogma.” [2]] B.C. Southam makes an effort to build on Ransom’s passing remark in a more developed argument about the sonnet which seeks to show that Shakespeare’s speaker is inspired more by a “humanist” philosophy that ironically undermines a rigidly Christian “rigorous asceticism which glorifies the life of the body at the expense of the vitality and richness of sensuous experience.”[3] Southam’s argument for an ironically humanist poem is countered, in turn, by Charles Huttar, who attempts to bring the poem back into alignment with a certain Christian worldview: for example, Huttar claims that “these rebel powers” that “array” the soul in line 2 refer not to “the physical being” or body but rather to the lower powers of the soul itself, the passions or affections. Understood in this way, the sentiment of the poem appears in accord with a certain Christian tradition that rejects “extreme asceticism.” [4]

1. Vendler, Helen. The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Cambridge, Mass.:Harvard UP, 1997, p. 611; Duncan-Jones, Katherine. Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Arden Shakespeare, 1997, p. 146
2. Qtd. in D. A. Stauffer, “Critical Principles and a Sonnet,” The American Scholar 12 (1942-43), p. 52-62.
3. B.C. Southam, “Shakespeare’s Christian Sonnet? Number 146,” Shakespeare Quarterly 11. 1 (1960): p. 67-71.
4. Charles A. Huttar “The Christian Basis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 146,” Shakespeare Quarterly 19. 4 (1968): 355-365.

Charging Bull, Bowling Green Park
Charging Bull, which is sometimes referred to as the Wall Street Bull is a 7,100 lb bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica that stands in Bowling Green Park near Wall Street. Standing 11 feet talland measuring 16 feet long, [1] the oversize sculpture depicts a bull, the symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity, leaning back on its haunches and with its head lowered as if ready to charge. The sculpture is both a popular tourist destination which draws thousands of people a day, as well as “one of the most iconic images of New York” and a “Wall Street icon” symbolizing “Wall Street” and the Financial District.

The Bull’s head is lowered, its nostrils flare, and its wickedly long, sharp horns are ready to gore; it’s an angry, dangerous beast. The muscular body twists to one side, and the tail is curved like a lash: the Bull is also energetic and in motion. [2]

The bronze color and hard, metallic texture of the sculpture’s surface emphasises the brute force of the creature. The work was designed and placed so that viewers could walk around it, which also suggests the creature’s own movement is unrestricted — a point reinforced by the twisting posture of the bull’s body, according to Durante.

Charging Bull, then, shows an aggressive or even belligerent force on the move, but unpredictably. […] The theme is the energy, strength, and unpredictability of the stock market.” [2]

Installation and Popularity
Di Modica spent some $360,000 to create, cast, and install the sculpture following the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of the “strength and power of the American people.[2] The sculpture was the artist’s idea, not the city’s. In an act of “guerrilla art”, he trucked it to Lower Manhattan and on December 15, 1989, installed it beneath a 60-foot Christmas tree in the middle of Broad Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a Christmas gift to the people of New York. That day, crowds came to look at the bull, with hundreds stopping to admire and analyze the gift as Di Modica handed out copies of a flier about his artwork. [1]

The police seized the sculpture and placed it into an impound lot. The ensuing public outcry led the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to install it two blocks south of the Exchange in the plaza at Bowling Green. It faces up Broadway. [3]

As soon as the sculpture was set up at Bowling Green, it became an instant hit. One of the city’s most photographed artworks, it has become a tourist destination in the Financial District. “[I]ts popularity is beyond doubt”, a New York Times article said of the artwork. “Visitors constantly pose for pictures around it.” Adrian Benepe, the New York City parks commissioner, said in 2004, “It’s become one of the most visited, most photographed and perhaps most loved and recognized statues in the city of New York. I would say it’s right up there with the Statue of Liberty.”[4]

The statue’s popularity with tourists has a very international appeal. One 2007 newspaper report noted a “ceaseless stream” of visitors from India, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Venezuela and China, as well as the United States. Children enjoy climbing on the bull, which sits at street level on the cobblestones at the far northern tip of the small park.

In addition to having their pictures taken at the front end of the bull, many tourists pose at the back of the bull, near the large testicles. According to a Washington Post article in 2002, “People on The Street say you’ve got to rub the nose, horns and testicles of the bull for good luck, tour guide Wayne McLeod would tell the group on the Baltimore bus, who would giddily oblige.” [5]

Following the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests, the sculpture was placed under police guard and kept generally off-limits to tourists. [6]

1. D. McFadden, Robert (1989-12-16). “SoHo Gift to Wall St.: A 3½-Ton Bronze Bull”. New York Times.
2. Durante, Dianne L., Outdoor monuments of Manhattan: a historical guide, NYU Press, 2007, ISBN 0-8147-1987-2, ISBN 978-0-8147-1987-9,
3. “Wall St.’s Bronze Bull Moves 2 Blocks South”. New York Times. 1989-12-20.
4. Dunlap, David W. “The Bronze Bull Is for Sale, but There Are a Few Conditions”, article, The New York Times, December 21, 2004
5. Duke, Lynn, “The Pilgrimage To Ground Zero — Officials and Tourists Walk A Fine Line on Solemn Ground”, Washington Post, February 27, 2002, Edition F, page C1, accessed via subscription archive website (also on High Beam Research subscription archive website) on May 4, 2008
6. Harshbarger, Rebecca and Frank Rosario. Outrage over caged Wall Street bull. New York Post.

ACTOR – Frank Rosner
Frank is honored and pleased to have the opportunity to participate and be associated with the Sonnet project and its’ incredibly inspired mission to make Shakespeare accessible to the masses. An Actor, Writer, Painter, Voice Artist and occasional standup comic. Frank’s first introduction to Shakespeare for the stage, was an audition for and landing the role of Tranio in “The Taming of The Shrew”.

It was in seventh grade, when Frank was first bitten by the theatre bug, when he co-wrote a play with his best friend. “The smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd”, remained imbedded in his psyche and there was no turning back!

Frank co-wrote the libretto for the Off Broadway Musical “Crossroads Café”, produced at the 18th Street Playhouse in 1981.

Frank has performed at various venues throughout the tri-state area, as well regional and dinner theatre productions, commercials and Voice Over work. Tranio in “The Taming of The Shrew, Tevye in “Fiddler On The Roof,  Oscar in “The Odd Couple” and the Common Man in “Man for all Seasons”, are among Frank’s favorite roles.

He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the Pope, in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Production of the musical “GALILEO” in June of 2011.

DIRECTOR – Seth Reuben Jacobson
A little about Seth Reuben Jacobson I consider myself a producer/editor, some call us “preditors”. I write, direct, shoot, and I edit.

I’ve been a fan of Shakespeare since I played one of the 3 Witches in my 3rd grade class version of “Macbeth” at Anna C. Scott School in Leonia in Miss Bleakly’s class. Miss Bleakly was a trip, she had superb taste in theatre but lousy taste in science. I recall we had that famous Time Life Timeline showing the evolution of man from apes, you know it shows you the changes every million of years or so, and Mrs. Bleakly would lecture us that it was not true, that it could not be true.  The truth was God had created man out of Eve’s rib or was it Eve out of Adam rib. That was the truth. That was science. This was all very confusing to my 3rd grade self. Thank goodness the subject of evolution vs. creationism has been finally cleared up today.

Funny, the most recent Shakespeare play I saw performed was also “Macbeth” (the Alan Cumming version currently on Broadway). Alan Cuming performs the play as a lunatic/prisoner in an insane asylum and the performance and play is creepy as heck. It’s got me thinking — I’d love to shoot a sonnet in Bellevue Hospital.

I’ve produced hundreds of video projects, including national news pieces, long and short form narratives, trailers, web commercials, broadcast spots, pilots, webisodes, sizzle-reels, sport highlights, nationally broadcast documentaries, award-winning promotional videos, music videos, and reality shows. I’m a New York City trained actor, who studied with the late Gene Frankel. Gene was one of the great sages of New York theatre, who helped me conquer my performance anxiety. “If you don’t have stage fright, then you must be dead,” he was fond of telling us. I still act from time to time.  My most recent performance was as Phil, a talking car with a bad case of body odor, in a car wash commercial I produced in Naples Florida, several years ago. I did not win a Clio for that work, nor was I nominated. But, Gene would have been proud. Again, I’m not sure what this has to do with Sonnet 146…

I’m also a member of the Directing Actors Workshop (DNYC), where directors work in front of other directors and learn from each other.  I’ve penned some spec sitcom scripts, and written over a dozen spots and short-form docs. And I also shoot a pretty nice hand-held documentary style, have shot some reality shows and a number of traditional docs.  And, I’m an editor, a member of the New York Editors Collective and a graduate of the Editing Center. I’ve edited video projects for such notables as the United Nations, the U.S. Military, Yahoo News,  NFL TV, Jarrett Creative, Al Roker Entertainment, MTV 2, The U.S. Post Office, JP Morgan Chase, Applegate Farms, Al-Anon, Shionogi Pharmaceutical, etc., with celebrities that include Ice T, Snoop Dogg, Joseph Abboud, Bob Costas, Peter Dinklage and many, many others.

To cut to the chase, check out my website

My work last year my wide range of skills and experience: co-directing and editing a short narrative comedy film (“Mona Wonderstein”); editing and graphics design for the first three episodes of the Cocu Kids educational DVD series; producing a sizzle reel for a reality show about a group of young Hasidic Jews trying to live secular lives (“The Leavers“); shooting and editing several episodes of the unscripted series, “Bikini Barbershop” aired on HD-Net (now AXS); editing a reality show sizzle reel for Al Roker Entertainment; producing a series of promotional videos for Applegate Farms; and editing a recent episode for MTV 2’s music video show, “This Week in Jams”.

This year I have already edited a zany sizzle reel for Jarrett Creative (producers of “Celebrity Ghoststories”); produced a promo about a young comic at Caroline’s Comedy Club; edited two pieces for Yahoo News: “The President’s State of the Union in 90 Seconds” and an episode of their finance show, “Financially Fit”. Last month I edited a series of training videos for one of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies and a short package for NFL TV. And this month I completed the editing of a short video I produced for the New York Sonnet Project and also began producing another sizzle reel about family of psychics. After that, I’ll be producing another pitch about an animal rescuer.

In some ways, I’m kind of the Broadway Danny Rose of reality show producers…