(1979). American Imago, 36(1):69-79
With a surprising amount of certitude we can infer the developmental line of continuity of Shakespeare's Sonnet Number 20 from its nuclear to its final as an elaborated of content and form in a Gestalt. The matrix of the poem, a certain nucleus of ego control, and , issues out to determine the of the poem. More particularly, a homosexually motivated gives rise to linguistically expressed derivatives of absence and overcompensating excess; the upshot is a beautiful Gestalt manifest in the poem's lexical, syntactical, logical and prosodical structures.
A woman's face with nature's own hand painted,
Hast thou the master mistress of my passion,
A woman's gentle heart but not acquainted
With shifting change as is false women's fashion,
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling:
Gilding the whereupon it gazeth,
A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
And for a woman wert thou first created,
Till nature as she wrought thee fell a-doting,
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
But since she pricked thee out for women's ,
Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.
The surface plot of the poem is simple enough. Dame Nature fell in love with one of her female creatures, and to overcome her own turns that creature into a man.