Tuesday, April 17, 2012

103rd Post: Shakespeare Hates Infertiles

I missed my 100th post.  IVF-brain I guess.

I've been meaning to keep track of it, but blogger counts all of your posts, even the drafts, and so I counted all of my drafts a couple of weeks ago and I thought it came to 18.  But I recounted today and it was only 14.  So this is my official 103rd post.  Woo Hoo!

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Did you know that Shakespeare hates infertiles?  (This post will be a touch tongue-in-cheek.)

I'm teaching both Romeo and Juliet  and Othello right now.  And to prepare, I have my students analyze sonnets.

Here's the sonnet we analyzed last Thursday, number X1:

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou growest
In one of thine, from that which thou departest;
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest.
Herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase:
Without this, folly, age and cold decay:
If all were minded so, the times should cease
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom Nature hath not made for store,
Harsh featureless and rude, barrenly perish:
Look, whom she best endow'd she gave the more;
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:    
She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby     
Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.

Let me translate:
In order to live on, you must have children.  
This is wise and beautiful.  
Not having children is stupid, 
and you will die a cold death.  
If all people didn't have kids, 
the world would end in 60 years.  
Let those who cannot have kids, die a harsh, ugly, barren death.  
Let those who are better endowed (i.e. fertile) cherish their children. 
 Nature made you.  Make children or your genes will die.

Okay, that's a pretty rough translation. And I skipped a few parts.  But that's basically his point.

And yes, I know he wasn't as much talking about the infertile as the beauty of living on through your offspring, but still.

I actually found it ironic and slightly funny that I was teaching this poem on the eve of my IVF.

I would have loved to share the irony with my students, but alas, I share it with you instead.

Shakespeare hates infertiles.


  1. That is so interesting. And unkind!

    My freshman year of college I had a seminar with a girl who thought that everyone should have children. She could not understand or accept that some people would choose not to. Of course, at the time I didn't think at the time to ask her about IF.

    I am struggling today with fatigue and headaches. Just a few more days to go though, right!?

  2. This takes me back to my days as an English major... I've missed the Bard! Even though he's clearly an unsympathetic a-hole, fertility-wise. Thanks for this post, congrats on 103 ;)

  3. Nice, thanks Will, your a real pal. Lady Mac is an interesting study in that whole area too.

  4. Thanks for the translation ;-) Haha. And congrats on your 103rd post!

  5. LOL. I never understood Shakespeare, but I like your translation. Shakespeare hates Infertiles, great! :) Anyway, I couldn't even IMAGINE being an infertile in a time when there would be no intervention and you would just be scorned.

  6. Bah. I KNEW there was a reason I didn't enjoy Shakespeare! ;)

  7. Loved this post! Great read despite Shakespeare being kind of a dink! lol

  8. What an ass! Good thing I totally suck at Literature.

  9. I am laughing so hard! That was the best interpretation of Shakespeare I've ever read.

  10. I am cracking up right now. Cracking. Up.