Play Sonnet 151

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.



Sonnet 151 explores a man’s powerlessness in the face of his carnal responses.

Willy admonishes his lover, asking her to not accuse him of sin, since she might find herself guilty of the same; specifically her infidelity of sleeping with his friend. Willy’s sin, on the other hand, is self-betrayal by allowing his body rather than his soul to steer his actions. While his soul may have loftier goals, his body’s “rising” and “falling” reduces poor Willy to no more than his phallus, and by giving in to his desires, he enslaves himself to his lascivious lady.

Will’s Wordplay

The bawdy imagery of the poem, from Willy’s willy or “nobler part” in line 6 “rising at thy name”, its “rise and fall” at line 14, has been discussed extensively. Hot dog!

Scholar’s Corner

Sonnet 151 has been compared to a verse by 17th–century author Joseph Swetnam—published in 1615 under the pseudonym Thomas Tell-Troth, in a pamphlet titled The Arraignment of Lewd, Idle, Froward, and Unconstant Women—satirizing the vices of women. “The woman’s best part call it I dare / Wherein no man comes but must stand bare / And let him be never so stout / T’will take him down before he goes out.” Both poems imply that sex subordinates the man to the woman.


Nathan’s Hotdogs, Coney Island, Brooklyn

How many can you eat? The original Nathan’s Famous restaurant stands at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in the Coney Island neighborhood of the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

Nathan’s began as a nickel hot dog stand in Coney Island in 1916 and bears the name of co-founder Nathan Handwerker, an polish immigrant, who started the business with his wife, Ida Handwerker. Ida created the hot dog recipe they used, and Ida’s grandmother created the secret spice recipe. Handwerker, an employee of Feltman’s German Gardens, was encouraged by singing waiters Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante to go into business in competition with his former employer. He and Ida spent their life savings of $300 to begin the business. Handwerker undercut Feltman’s by charging five cents for a hot dog when his former employer was charging ten. At a time when food regulation was in its infancy and the pedigree of the hot dog particularly suspect, Handwerker made sure that men wearing surgeon’s smocks were seen eating at his stand to reassure potential customers. The business proved immensely popular. The expansion of the chain was overseen by Nathan Handwerker’s son, Murray Handwerker.

A second branch on Long Beach Road in Oceanside, New York, opened in 1959, and another debuted in Yonkers in 1965. Murray Handwerker was named the President of Nathan’s Famous in 1968. All were sold by the Handwerker family to a group of private investors in 1987, at which point Nathan’s was franchised and a great number of establishments were opened around New York City and beyond. The company went public in 1993 and Bill Handwerker, the founder’s grandson, left the company three years later.

The original Nathan’s still exists on the same site that it did in 1916. Having been open for business every day, 365 days a year, the stand was forced to close on 29 October 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy. Despite a small fire on 4 May 2013, the stand re-opened later that month. Service is provided year-round inside, and during the summer additional walk-up windows are opened to serve the larger seasonal crowds.

4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held at the original location on Coney Island every year since about 1972 in conjunction with Independence Day. According to legend, on July 4, 1916, four immigrants held a hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous stand on Coney Island to settle an argument about who was the most patriotic. A man by the name of Jim Mullen is said to have won, although accounts vary. In 2010, however, promoter Mortimer Matz, admitted to having fabricated this legend with a man named Max Rosey in the early 1970s as part of a publicity stunt. The legend grew over the years, to the point where The New York Times and other publications were known to have repeatedly listed 1916 as the inaugural year, although no evidence of the contest exists prior to 1972. The 1978 annual contest was held on Memorial Day rather than July 4. In 1993, a one-time, one-on-one contest under the Brooklyn Bridge was held between Michael DeVito and Orio Ito.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the competition was dominated by Japanese contestants, particularly Takeru Kobayashi, who won six consecutive from 2001-2006. The Japanese competitors introduced advanced eating and training techniques that shattered previous competitive eating world records. The rise in popularity of the event coincided with the surge in popularity of the worldwide competitive eating circuit.

In recent years, a considerable amount of pomp and circumstance have surrounded the days leading up to the event, which has become an annual spectacle of competitive entertainment. The event is presented on an extravagant stage complete with colorful live announcers and an overall party atmosphere. The day before the contest is a public weigh-in with the mayor of New York City. Some competitors don flamboyant costumes and/or makeup, while others may promote themselves with eating-related nicknames. On the morning of the event, they have a heralded arrival to Coney Island on the “bus of champions” and are called to the stage individually during introductions. In 2013, six-time defending champion Joey Chestnut was escorted to the stage in a sedan chair.

The competition draws many spectators and worldwide press coverage. In 2007, an estimated 50,000 came out to witness the event. In 2004 a three-story-high “Hot Dog Eating Wall of Fame” was erected at the site of the annual contest. The wall lists past winners, and has a digital clock which counts down the minutes until the next contest. Despite substantial damage suffered at Nathan’s due to Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the location was repaired, reopened, and the 2013 event was held as scheduled.


ACTOR – Richard Price

Off Broadway: The Waiting Room (Billie Holiday Theatre). Off-Off Broadway: Karl Marx and Jimmy in East Side Stories (The Metropolitan Playhouse). Regional: Nigel in Rock n’ Roll (Studio Theatre, DC); Lodovico in Othello (Folger Shakespeare Theatre); Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing (Olney Summer Shakespeare Festival); Robert in Boeing Boeing and a Clown in The 39 Steps (New Harmony Theatre); The 39 Steps, The Crucible, The Elephant Man (Northern Stage); Last Gas (Opera House Arts); The 39 Steps (Mason Street Warehouse); Oliver!, Shakespeare in Hollywood, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hope Summer Repertory Theatre); The Taming of the Shrew, The Grapes of Wrath, La Bete (Theatre at Monmouth); The Odd Couple (Carousel Dinner Theatre.) Television: Law and Order, All My Children. Training: M.F.A. Penn State, BA Towson University. Love and gratitude to my wife for all her support.


DIRECTOR – Stephanie Gardner

Stephanie is a writer and director for theater and film. To view work and learn more about her artistic endeavors, please visit As a filmmaker, she has written, directed and produced over fourteen short films, most recently, And If I Stay, a dark romantic drama shot in Montreal ( Other credits include, Ten to One Films, where she wrote and directed a film a month for ten months; Love Yourself by Tha Ghecko Brothas, a music video she directed which speaks out against domestic violence; and video and editing work for Yale University, and Gonzalez & Company Insurance Agency. Here´s what Stephanie has to say about her work:

Above all else, I am an artist. No matter where in the world I am, or what occupies my time, I hope to constantly create artistic works, be it theater or film, music or poetry. Works that stimulate. Pieces that provoke. Experiences that cause people to think and feel in unimaginable ways. Most importantly, I aim to bring people together to create and experience these works together.
As a writer, I am fascinated by the intricacies of human interactions, especially exploring dynamics and power shifts in intimate relationships. As a director, I endeavor to discover rich and new terrain, to reach deep, raw emotions and present situations that are often uncomfortable. As a producer, I seek to bring together talented and interesting people to create works of art that stimulate audiences to think and feel beyond their everyday realm.

I have written, directed and produced musical comedies; stage plays; and short films, for both live action and animation. Additionally, I write feature length screenplays, and have received a Masters of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Asia, where I lived in Singapore and travelled South East Asia and beyond. My works have been produced internationally and in the United States, including the District of Columbia, New York, Pennsylvania, and Singapore. I am a graduate of The George Washington University with a Bachelors degree in Dramatic Literature, Music, and Creative Writing.

To view work and learn more about Stephanie’s artistic endeavors, please visit



Susan Chau currently lives in New York, working in film and television along with some online media. She received her MFA in film production at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia, based in Singapore. Early during her time in New York she interned at the production company, Kontent Reel. There she assisted the editor in the 6 part documentary series Design E2, a documentary on sustainable architecture. The series aired on PBS, an affiliate of the BBC. In May 2012 she made Josephine, a narrative short, which she wrote and directed. The film was supported by Panavision, which awarded the project The New Filmmaker’s Grant.

Past works include, LIYA a story of friendship between two women; and Antiquarian, a documentary about a Russian-Jewish Sculptor, who converted his gallery into an antique shop where he is now a watchmaker. Her latest project is Parachute, an educational music video she directed for PBS Kids.