Shakespeare Sonnets: Summary & Analysis 154 sonnets with translation

Shakespeare sonnets

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This page provides you with a clear understanding of Shakespeare Sonnets. A comprehensive list of 154 sonnets written by Shakespeare is given here. You will find analysis and meaning of each of Shakespeare sonnets for better understanding. It is highly recommended to buy “The Monument by Hank Whittemore“, which is the best book on Shakespeare Sonnets. Before diving deep into it, let us first understand, “What is a Sonnet” and what are the different type of Sonnets.

What Is A Sonnet: An Analysis Of Shakespeare Sonnets And Petrarchan Sonnets

A sonnet is a poem written in a particular format. The typical sonnet has 14 lines and originated in Italy. Although several poets abided by the 14 line format in various poems the credit for the first style of sonnet goes to Italian poet Franseco Petrarch of the 14th century. Later in the 15 century, William Shakespeare created his own style of Shakespeare Sonnets creating for the English language what would be regarded as the two major styles of sonnets. The Shakespeare sonnets and the Petrarchan sonnets.

The Petrarchan sonnet

While Shakespearean sonnets were simpler in the pattern, The Petrarchan sonnet was complex. It was used extensively by renaissance poetry and served as a model for lyrical poetry. It was characterized by two parts called:

  • Octave (8 lines)
  • Sestet (6 lines)

The octave was a reflection and introduction of a particular theme while the sestet presented a change of thought or solution to a dilemma presented in the octave.

The rhyme scheme of a Petrarchan sonnet

The rhyme scheme of a sonnet is the pattern of the rhyming sound of the last word in each line. Thus if the last word of the first line is denoted by “ A “and the second “B”, then the pattern of an octave would be ABBA, ABBA.

EXAMPLE:

When I consider how my light is spent (A)

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, (B)

And that one talent which is death to hide, (B)

Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent (A)

Similarly, the sestet denoted by C, D, and E would rhyme in a pattern described as CDE, CDE. In certain cases, it may also be CDC CDC

EXAMPLE:

thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart; – C

Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: – D

So didst thou travel on life’s common way, – E

The lines above have been taken from the famous poem “On His Blindness” Written by the blind poet John Milton in 1674.

Shakespeare sonnet

Shakespeare sonnets were actually developed by the Earl of Surrey but because of Shakespeare’s extensive use of the style, it became known as Shakespeare sonnets. There are about 154 Shakespeare sonnets attributed to the bard who many says were addressed to a young lord living in Shakespeare’s time and presumably his dear friend.

The cover page of Shakespeare’s “The Sonnets” published in 1609 by Thomas Thorpe has given rise to much debate as to who the sonnets are actually dedicated to. The cover page says to “W.H.” and W. H. is regarded as a man whom many believe to be the lord and young youth who is the subject of the majority of the sonnets, while other scholars believe the dedication was made by the publisher Thomas Thorpe without Shakespeare’s permission.

If at all, W H is Shakespeare’s reference to the subject of his verses, then scholars believe it could be William Herbert, The Earl of Pembroke and Shakespeare’s friend or Henry Wriothesley, The Earl of Southampton, known for his looks and argued to be the actual fair youth of the Sonnets.

A Shakespeare sonnet also consisted of 14 lines further divided into four parts. The first three parts consisted of four lines each and called a quatrain. The last part consisted of two lines and was called a couplet. The rhyme scheme of a quatrain was divided according to the individual quatrains

1st quatrain-ABAB

EXAMPLE:

1. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? A

2. Thou art more lovely and more temperate. B

3. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, A

4. And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. B

2nd quatrain CDCD

EXAMPLE:

5. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, C

6. And often is his gold complexion dimmed; D

7. And every fair from fair sometime declines, C

8. By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed; D

3rd quatrain-EFEF

9. But thy eternal summer shall not fade, E

10. Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, F

11. Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, E

12. When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st. F

Couplet-GG

EXAMPLE:

13. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, G

14. So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. G

The above example is from Shakespeare sonnets, No 18 which was considered the most beautiful of English sonnets and part of Shakespeare’s procreation sonnets.

Introduction to complete list of Shakespeare Sonnets with short summary & Theme

Now that we have completely understood “What is Sonnet” and its rhyming scheme. Let us take a step forward and look at all the sonnets written by William Shakespeare. You will find detailed analysis for each sonnet by clicking the link attached.

Shakespeare Sonnet 1, From fairest creatures we desire increase

In Sonnet 1 Shakespeare compares life to beauty saying how man desires to increase this beauty by having children. He says some men are too self-absorbed in their own lives and deprive the continuation of life. This makes man his own enemy. He implores such men to procreate and continue life’s legacy by having children instead of dying alone leaving nothing on Earth.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 2, When forty winters shall besiege thy brow

In Sonnet 2 Shakespeare continues the theme of procreation explaining to man the importance and beauty of his life and how he shouldn’t waste it. He says after forty, man will wither into old age and the only thing that can sustain him is a child and heir in whom his name will live on.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 3, Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest

In Sonnet 3 Shakespeare urges man not to waste the beauty of life by being childless. He says a child immortalizes a man’s name. Just like man is a mirror for his own mother to remind her of her youth, so will man see his younger days again through the eyes of his own child. He urges man not to die single.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 4, Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend

Sonnet 4 continues Shakespeare pleas and urging to man to procreate and have children instead of wasting his life on himself by being alone. He scolds men for not using the gift of procreation that nature has provided. According to Shakespeare, a childless man will only have the beauty of his name buried with him in death and forgotten.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 5, Those hours that with gentle work did frame

In Sonnet 5 Shakespeare compares the passage of life to the seasons saying that society admires a man in his youth but will forget him when he withers with age. Similarly like summer proceeds to dull winter, youth ages to a time when man is old and barren. However, the essence of man remains and that can be carried on with children.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 6, Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface

Sonnet 6 is a continuation of sonnet 5 where Shakespeare explains to man not to grow old without continuing his legacy. He urges man to marry saying that woman too is always willing to be a wife and bear children. He urges man not to be selfish and let the beauty of his life end as a lonely corpse.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 7, Lo, in the orient when the gracious light.

In sonnet 7, Shakespeare uses the rising and setting of the sun as a metaphor for life and the stages of youth and old age. He compares the midday sun to the middle age where man retains a part of his youthfulness but in old age, he will also disappear like the setting sun dying a lonely man unless starts a family.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 8, Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly

In sonnet 8 Shakespeare compares the happiness of a family to the harmony of music. He describes how families with individual members create happiness like the strings of a harp that play a single tune. He also reminds man that the happiness of a family will make him change his mind of living single.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 9, Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye

Sonnet 9 continues with scolding and advising man about the need to procreate and have children. Shakespeare says that if man is afraid of leaving behind a widow, he shouldn’t be, because he will always live on in his children’s eyes. Shakespeare considers a single man without children selfish and to die childless is a shameful thing.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 10, For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any

Sonnet 10 is a direct continuation of sonnet 9 where Shakespeare accuses a youth of harboring hate within himself to the point of denying himself a family and children. He asks the youth to change out of love for him the poet and bear children who will carry on his memory.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 11, As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow’st

In Sonnet 11, Shakespeare describes to man the importance of procreation and how it is stupid not to get children those results in a meaningless and wasteful life. He emphasizes on how nature has given man its biggest gift and that is the ability to reproduce. Man should be grateful by showing his appreciation and multiplying.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 12, When I do count the clock that tells the time

Sonnet 12 is among Shakespeare’s most popular sonnets where he addresses a young lord saying that the reality of ageing proves how the beauty of life cannot escape the hands of time where everything eventually dies. The only way to escape time is to ensure ones name is carried on by having children.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 13, O that you were yourself! But, love, you are

Sonnet 13 is a continuation of sonnet 12 where Shakespeare reflects on the theme of death explaining that life is just a short lease. Only by producing children can a man protect himself and his name from being destroyed permanently. It is the first sonnet where he addresses his subject as “you” and says that it is man’s responsibility to produce children.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 14, Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck

Sonnet 14 continues the theme of procreation from a different perspective. Shakespeare addresses a youth saying although he cannot predict the future by conventional means; he can easily see the truth and beauty in the eyes of the youth. If the youth does not produce children to transfer these qualities to, then the only truth is the eternal death of his name.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 15, When I consider every thing that grows

In Sonnet 15 Shakespeare speaks about how a youth like all living things has a short lifespan and that the beauty of youth may be vibrant but ultimately old age and time catches up leading to death. However he the poet has the power to cheat time by immortalizing the youth’s name through his poetry.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 16, But wherefore do not you a mightier way

Sonnet 16 takes its cue and continuation from sonnet 15 where Shakespeare indulges in the theme of procreation. He tells his subject, the youth that by he can live on in the eyes of his children and that reality is better than being remembered in poetry or a painting.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 17, Who will believe my verse in time to come

In Sonnet 17, Shakespeare continues addressing the youth saying that his poetry does not possess the right words to describe the youth’s beauty and in the future, it will be regarded as false because no one would believe such a person could exist. Only if the youth has children can he hope to live own in his descendants and poetry too.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 18, Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Sonnet 18 is the best loved and most famous of all Shakespearean sonnets that glorifies the love he feels for the addressee or subject whose gender is not accurately known. It is considered the ultimate love poem where the poet compares the subject to the season of summer as a time of beauty. Just as nature can change the seasons in the same way man also ages from youth to old age and death. But he as a poet will not allow the person’s beauty and name to die saying that his poetry describing his beauty will make the person live on forever.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 19, Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws

In Sonnet 19 Shakespeare uses animal imagery to explain how animals and natural things age and die with time. However, he requests time not to do the same with his lover but then challenges time that he cannot Age his lover as his poetry will immortalize his youth forever.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 20, A woman’s face, with nature’s own hand painted

In Sonnet 20, Shakespeare clearly mixes gender stereotypes comparing his subject, the subject fair youth to that of a naturally beautiful woman. He praises all his qualities but regrets that the youth was created a man which deprived the poet of a relationship with him. He ends by saying he will cherish the youths love on an emotional level while women can enjoy the youth on a physical level.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 21, So is it not with me as with that muse

In sonnet 21, Shakespeare describes through various similes the beauty of his muse who is also his love comparing her to everything beautiful. He compares her beauty to rare objects on earth and feels that it isn’t worth discussing his muse with men who prefer believing gossip as he isn’t exactly a salesman to sell his love.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 22, My glass shall not persuade me I am old

In sonnet 22, Shakespeare deals with the equality of love between himself and the fair youth. He says that this love makes himself feel young since both their love resides in each other’s hearts and that he will love the youth till his death and that the youth’s heart will remain with him even in death.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 23, As an unperfect actor on the stage

In sonnet 23, Shakespeare deals with the theme of imperfection and inability to express his love for the youth simply because of the overwhelming power of love within himself. His lack of confidence that the love will be returned makes him tongue-tied. He then pleads the youth not to bother with his words but try to read his actions and his verse that speak more about his genuine love.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 24, Mine eye hath played the painter and hath steeled

Regarded as one of the toughest sonnets to translate, Shakespeare’s play with words is complicated in trying to explain that the youth and the poet shares each other’s love and thus see his love through one another’s eyes which are like windows to each other’s hearts. However, in the end, he expresses a bit of doubt by saying his eyes may see the physical beauty of the youth but he cannot guess his true feelings.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 25, Let those who are in favor with their stars

Sonnet 25 Shakespeare describes that he does not long for public titles and honor because he feels society is hypercritical and as long as you are doing well you are recognized but once you fail you are forgotten. He is happier to remain in his lover’s heart where he cannot be removed.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 26, Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage

Shakespeare says that he is totally devoted to the youth calling him the poet’s lord. He says that his sense of duty is so great that he lacks the right words to express it. He hopes life will favor him to get lucky enough for the youth to recognize his worth but till that happens he will hide from the youth for fear of being tested.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 27, Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed

In sonnet 27, Shakespeare says that he is constantly thinking about his love where during the day he physically aches for him and looks for him. At night when he rests his physical body, he cannot sleep because his mind is restless with thoughts about his love. In this way, he gets no peace during day and night.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 28, How can I then return in happy plight

Continuing from Sonnet no 27, Shakespeare says that he is plagued day and night by thoughts of his love. As a result, his tireless days and worrisome night is draining him physically and emotionally as he is constantly thinking of his love and because of this the day and night are unbearably long.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 29, When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes

In Sonnet 29, the poet in depression wallows in self-pity cursing himself for his misfortune and disgrace. He envies the fortunes and skills of others which depresses him further. But in his depression, the thoughts of his love, improve his mood making him feel emotionally uplifted. He compares such thoughts to emotional riches saying he wouldn’t exchange them for material wealth or the place of a king.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 30, When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

In sonnet 30, the poet is a depressed state and begins to recollect his sad memories. He asks if he can grieve for all those moments in life when he suffered loss and misfortunate as well as loss of love. But in spite of the sadness that pains him again like fresh wounds, all he has to do is think of his friends and those happy thoughts make his sorrows disappear.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 31, Thy bosom is endearèd with all hearts

In a continuation of sonnet no 30, Shakespeare tells his friend that he sees in him all his past lovers whom he thought to be dead and buried. He compares his friend’s heart to a grave of memories which contains everything he knew about love including the people who loved him. He then says that he now enjoys all of this love from his friend’s heart and his friend too has his love in return.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 32 Analysis, If thou survive my well-contented day

In Sonnet 32, Shakespeare tells his friend that if he lives longer than the poet, he should not compare his poetry with the skill of modern verse written by poets far better than him. He feels that if his friend’s inspiration had been combined with modern day skills, he would have produced better sonnets but since he is dead and cannot do anything, his friend should read his poetry for the love rather than skill”

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 33, Full many a glorious morning have I seen

In sonnet 33, Shakespeare displays mixed emotions where the theme is changed in comparison to previous sonnets of praise to his friend the fair lord of his sonnets. Now he uses the imagery of a sun covered by clouds to describe the relationship where his friend was once beautiful but is now overshadowed by ugliness and disgrace. But in the end, he has a change of heart saying that he never stopped loving the friend and that this could be just a temporary phase.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 34, Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day

Sonnet 34 is a continuation of the theme of sonnet 33 where he accuses the fair lord or his friend of causing him pain and that even though he repents it isn’t enough to take away the pain. But his love is strong and when he sees tears in his friend’s eyes, he feels he must forgive him.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 35, No more be grieved at that which thou hast done.

In sonnet 35, Shakespeare changes his theme of condemnation in sonnet 33 and 34 to a theme of reconciliation. He now experiences mixed emotions and feels sorry for his friend comparing his mistakes against the poet as no more than human nature and justifying the fact that all men aren’t perfect. In saying so he also criticizes himself for justifying his friend’s actions in spite of being the victim himself.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 36, Let me confess that we two must be twain

In sonnet 36, Shakespeare is trying to explain to his friend whom he loves that they have to separate as they have brought disgrace to each other. But the separation is only a physical one as they minds are united with each other. Moreover, he wants to maintain a low profile in public and not acknowledge the friend to others and asks his friend to do the same because he values the friend’s reputation like his own.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 37 Analysis, As a decrepit father takes delight

The theme of sonnet 36 is praise of his friend. Shakespeare continues from sonnet no 36, praising his young friend and degrading himself saying he is like an unlucky old man whose only security and sustenance is the friend’s presence in his life. He derives satisfaction from the words, activities and good luck of his friend and wishes him even more prosperity which he says will make him also happy

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 38, How can my muse want subject to invent

In sonnet 38, the theme of praise for his friend continues but Shakespeare reflects a dual theme here being rivalry with other poets whose abilities he questions to write poetry. He considers his friend a muse of inspiration where other poets would be unworthy to write about him. He also tells his friend that if his poetry is recognized, then he doesn’t mind the pain of writing even though it is his friend who gets all the praise

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 39 Analysis, O how thy worth with manners may I sing

Shakespeare continues his theme of praise in sonnet 39 explaining to his friend that their love has united them into becoming one identity but now praising his friend is like praising himself. This is why it is better for them to separate which will cause him pain and break him into two. But now when he writes poems of praise to his friend, the friend will enjoy it alone somewhere else which is what he deserves.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 40, Take all my loves, my love; yea, take them all

Sonnet 40 is complex with mixed interpretation by Shakespearean excerpts the common accepted theme is infidelity and pain. Shakespeare’s friend has committed adultery by having an affair with the poets love, sweetheart or wife. The poet is hurt and questions him why when he showered so much love on him yet he chooses to love someone else. He says he forgives him and won’t be his enemy but wants him to know that emotional hurt caused by a loved one is worse that the physical injury of an enemy.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 41, Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits

In Sonnet 41, Shakespeare continues the theme of infidelity from sonnet 40 scolding his friend the youth for sleeping with his mistress. He forgives him because he says the youth’s beauty and age is the cause of women pursuing him and leading him into temptation but the youth should at least leave his mistress alone because he is making her commit a sin as well as spoiling the relationship with the poet.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 42, That thou hast her it is not all my grief

Sonnet 42 is the third and final sonnet in the trilogy of sonnets where the theme is infidelity. The poet is trying his best to justify the infidelity of his wife and the betrayal of his friend who has slept with his wife. He justifies the situation with a complex love triangle saying that since his friend and he are one person because of their relationship, then it also means his wife loves him alone and no one else.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 43, When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see

In sonnet 43, Shakespeare begins a new theme of absence. His friend has gone away and he misses him to the extent of his days seeming meaningless because of the youth’s absence. He says only in the night when he sleeps that his dreams of the youth bring him happiness because they shine like a light in his darkness.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 44, If the dull substance of my flesh were thought

In continuation of the absence theme of sonnet 43, Shakespeare wishes that he weren’t so far away from his friend. He also wishes that could bridge the distance just by thinking about it. However, he also realizes that this isn’t so and that his body likes all human beings is made up of the elements of earth and water which are too slow to achieve such things. So he must spend the separation in sadness.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 45, The other two, slight air and purging fire

In sonnet no 45, Shakespeare continues the absence theme saying that his body is made of four elements of which two are like his thoughts and desires which travel back and forth between his beloved and himself. When the two elements return to restore balance in his body, he is happy as they bring news of his beloved but since it is short-lived, he sends them back again which makes him depressed as usual.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 46 , Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war

In Sonnet 46 Shakespeare depicts a theme of conflict of emotions and senses saying that his eyes and heart are in conflict with each other who does justice to the image of his beloved and who has earned the right of keeping that image. He proposes a decision based on his thoughts saying that his eyes have the right of deciding the external image of his beloved while his heart controls the love involved between them both.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 47, Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took

In sonnet no 47, Shakespeare continues with the theme of conflict between his heart and eyes but saying that they now have reached a pact where both help each other to invoke the memory of his beloved who is far away. His eyes through the external sight of a picture and his heart through thoughts and memories. In this way, he is able to keep his beloved close to him.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 48, How careful was I, when I took my way

In Sonnet no 48, Shakespeare displays the theme of anxiety that his friend and love will be stolen away from him. He says that though he keeps his worldly possessions and valuables under lock and key, they are not as valuable as the friend is to him whom he has locked within his own heart and from where the youth comes and goes. This is why; he fears that the youth’s beauty will tempt even honest people to steal him away.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 49, Against that time (if ever that time come)

In continuation of the theme of anxiety and loss of his friend and love Shakespeare appears to resign himself to his fate by justifying the fact that his friend the fair lord does not love him anymore. He laments that he is expecting that to happen soon at a time when the youth may mature and become a stranger to him. In a depressive state, he accepts his fate saying that the youth is within his rights to do what he wants.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 50 Analysis, How heavy do I journey on the way

Sonnet 50 continues to deal with the theme of separation and depression where the poet is now traveling to a distant land but is depressed that his journey takes him farther away from his friend. He compares his heavy heart to the slow journey saying that the horse knew the reason why he doesn’t wish to travel faster. The groans of his horse when spurred onwards remind him of his own sadness and how he leaves Joy (his friend) behind.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 51, Thus can my love excuse the slow offense

Sonnet 51 is continued from sonnet 50 as Shakespeare describes he is travelling with a heavy heart and doesn’t want to travel fast in case that takes him away from his friend faster. He even feels as if his horse is cooperating with him by helping him move slower and since he hasn’t anything o do, he too will travel slowly until he returns when he prefers jumping off his horse and running to his friend.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 52, So am I as the rich whose blessèd key

In sonnet 52, Shakespeare again invokes the theme of praise for his friend comparing him to riches and valuables that should be locked and opened only on special occasions so as not to dilute its value and pleasure of seeing them. He considers his friend blessed whose presence blesses others surrounding him and for those who can’t see him are forever in hope to do so.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 53, What is your substance, whereof are you made

Perhaps Shakespeare in sonnet 53, is adopting a platonic love theme praising the youth through symbolization. He compares the youth to a Greek God saying any attempt to copy him would end up a futile imitation. He expresses his love for the youth saying that he is beyond humanity and that he is incomparable to nothing.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 54, O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem

In sonnet 54, Shakespeare plays upon the theme of conceit and praise comparing the youth his friend to the beauty and immortality of a rose. He says that unlike wildflowers that are only noticed for their looks but then die in obscurity, a rose even after death is used for its petals and its scent in perfumes. Similarly, the youth’s beauty is compared to the rose and when he dies; his essence will live on in the poet’s poems.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 55, Not marble nor the gilded monuments

In sonnet 55, Shakespeare creates Horace’s theme who advocated poetry living beyond physical monuments to dead people. In the same way, Shakespeare tells the youth that regardless of how stone sculptures, statues, and monuments ultimately age and become old with time, his poems in which he has praised the fair youth (presumably Mr. W. H. whom all his poems are addressed to) will never grow old and the poetry verses will make him immortal.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 56, Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said

In sonnet 56, Shakespeare diverts from the security of sonnet 55 and expresses again a theme of insecurity and separation. He tells the youth not to kill the love for each other with lethargy and instead carry on filling himself with it. He asks him to regard their separation as a situation that makes them feel even more blessed when they see each other from afar like lovers standing on opposite shores of an ocean or compare it to summer that is longed for when exposed to harsh winter.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 57, Being your slave, what should I do but tend

Among Shakespeare sonnets, sonnet 57 is a revelation of sorts expressing the theme of infidelity implying that he is like a servant totally devoted in love to the fair youth presumably the man W.H. the subject of the sonnets. He waits upon him like a salve not having time for him but the youth is busy with having affairs with others and in spite of that he bears him no ill will.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 58, That god forbid, that made me first your slave

In continuation of sonnet no 57, Shakespeare maintains the theme of separation and infidelity addressing W.H. as his master whom god has forced him to serve. He longs to question the youth and with whom he is having affairs but accepting his position as a servant who cannot question a master. He compares his situation to a prison and feels he must suffer this fate of infidelity and separation at the youth’s hands without questioning him.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 59, If there be nothing new, but that which is

In Shakespeare sonnet 59, the poet renews the theme of praise for the fair youth who is presumed to be known as W.H. He reflects how there is nothing new in terms of creativity in spite of people working hard. He also wonders about insight into past writings saying that most probably would not be able to do justice to the beauty of the youth saying that it is unlikely someone of his beauty even existed in the past.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 60, Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore

One of Shakespeare’s most important and famous sonnets where he paints a theme of the ravages of time and how time slowly but surely marches onward giving us beauty and perfection in youth but again taking it away in old age till our deaths. However, in the same breath, he expresses that his verses will beat time and continue to be read as a mark of praise and glory to the memory of the fair youth who many belie to be W. H. (presumably the earl of Southampton).

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 61, Is it thy will thy image should keep open

In Shakespearean sonnet no 61. Shakespeare evokes the theme of self torture with thoughts of the fair lord (presumably W.H as described earlier), gives him insomnia where he feels imaginary shadows mock his condition. He wonders if the youth also harbors similar thoughts towards him but then reminds himself that it isn’t possible because the youth doesn’t love him that much and even while he is awake and far away, the youth spends time with others instead.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 62, Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye

In Shakespeare sonnet 62, the poet deals with the jealousy theme as part of three jealousy sonnets. He starts by praising himself endlessly accusing himself of vanity but in the end justifies this as a display of love for the youth saying that although he is aged, he feels like he is young and beautiful simply because the love of the youth and the man known as W.H. (in Intro) makes him feel beautiful.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 63, Against my love shall be as I am now

In sonnet 63, Shakespeare ends the theme of jealousy and once again indulges in the theme of immortality saying how time is a cruel being that will ultimately age the fair youth presumably W.H. (the subject of his sonnets) till the youth dies. But in anticipation of that time, the poet has written poems that he knows will live on for people to read and immortalize the beauty of the youth.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 64, When I have seen by time’s fell hand defaced

In sonnet no 64, Shakespeare continues with the theme of loss and mortality because of the ravages of time saying how he has watched time destroy everything g he loves and yet he also fears the time when the fair youth who is W.H, will also be taken away from him. He is helpless in such things and all he can do is weep at the fact of impending loss.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 65 Analysis, Since brass, nor stone, nor earth

In sonnet 65, Shakespeare continues his theme of mortality where he laments how the beauty of the fair youth (Mr. W.H) will ultimately be decayed by time and there is no force or power on earth to stop it happening unless by some miracle, his poetry is successful and the youth’s beauty will live on in his words.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 66, Tired with all these, for restful death I cry

In Sonnet 66, Shakespeare depicts a theme of hopelessness, melancholy, and dishonesty saying that he is fed up of the world’s corruption and dishonest and hates to see such times when good people are enslaved and the bad are enjoying themselves. He wishes to die but laments that the only thing stopping him is the love of the youth presumably W.H. who will be alone.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 67, Ah, wherefore with infection should he live

Sonnet 67 continues from sonnet 66 where Shakespeare continues with the theme of impending loss for his friend the fair youth questioning the futility of living among corrupt people and imposters who try to take advantage of the youth’s goodness. He even criticizes nature saying she has no more beauty to offer except for the youth who is the only beautiful thing living which nature preserves as a memory.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 68, Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn

In a continuation again of sonnet 66 and 67, Shakespeare voices a theme of imitation when impersonators made a mockery of fine art and beauty. He mocks how illegitimate art has surfaced everywhere making a mockery of beautiful things and mourns the loss of a time when false makeup wasn’t even needed to make people beautiful and now everyone is ugly. He says only his love the fair lord (who is W.H.) is the sole representative of beauty which is why Nature will preserve him as a memory of what beauty was at one time

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 69, Those parts of thee that the world’s eye doth view

In sonnet 69, Shakespeare conjures up the theme of rebuke and doubt beginning to praise the fair youth (W.H.) as mentioned in the intro). He first praises the youth’s outward beauty saying that he is indeed good looking which is why people heap praise on him, but the moment they will look into his character and judge him by his deeds, they may find him corrupt because as the poet tells him, he is mixing in bad company and as a result is being influenced to become the same.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 70, That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect

In Sonnet no 70, Shakespeare changes his theme of sonnet 69 to one of defense for the fair youth or fair lord that is W.H. he says that the youth will be slandered against as it is usual for people possessing good looks and beauty to be spoken ill of. It is also common for accusations and temptations to be attracted to beauty like fungus to flowers. He praises the youth for resisting temptation so slander can’t harm him. However, he also says that if such things didn’t happen like these ill tainted elements, the youth would be perfect.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 71 Analysis, No longer mourn for me when I am dead

As a continuation of sonnet 71, Shakespeare portrays the theme of love and loss. He laments about leaving the worlds saying ultimately he will be buried with his poems. He asks the fair youth not to remember him in case he by looking at his poems do so and feels sad because if he does, the society will frown upon him and mock him just like they would do to the poet.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 72, O lest the world should task you to recite

Sonnet 72 is a continuation of sonnet 71 where Shakespeare conjures the theme of shame and worthlessness saying that the fair lord (w.H) should forget him after his death. He feels this way because according to him, he has not produced anything worthwhile and by forgetting him, the youth won’t have to feel ashamed of the connection with him. He says if his name is buried with his body, the then youth won’t have to fear having to speak falsely about the poet’s achievements.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 73, That time of year thou mayst in me behold

In sonnet 73, the poet conjures up the theme of ultimate death making love grow stronger. He says that he is now aged and will appear to the fair lord his friend (W. H.) like the season of autumn when trees lose their leaves or like a sun that fades at sunset. He also feels that when the youth will look at him in this way with the knowledge that nothing lasts forever, he will learn to love him even more.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 74, But be contented when that fell arrest

In sonnet 74, Shakespeare continues from sonnet 73 reflecting the theme of death where he tells the fair lord that he should not be upset or grieve over his dead body which ultimately will be consumed and decayed and not worth remembering about. His body will return to the earth but his spirit will live on in his verses and this is what the youth should keep with him and remember forever.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 75, So are you to my thoughts as food to life

In sonnet no 75, Shakespeare conjures up the theme of love and longing telling the fair lord that he is extremely important to him comparing him to the importance of food to life and seasons to nature. The poet tells him that he is in constant inner turmoil not knowing whether to enjoy the pleasures of the youth alone like a miser or share the pleasures with the world. He suffers every day hungering for the love of the youth because he either gets nothing

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare sonnet 76 Analysis, Why is my verse so barren of new pride

In Sonnet 76 Shakespeare reflects a theme of rivalry comparing him to other poets saying that unlike them he does not evolve to try out new literary styles. He puts forth the reason that since he loves the fair lord W.H., thus he is the main subject of his poems. All his poems are just new ways to express his love for the youth just like a rising and setting sun.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 77, Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear

The theme of sonnet 77 is of memories and death. In sonnet 77, Shakespeare continues from sonnet 76 dealing once again with his favorite subject the fair lord whom he tells to keep looking in a mirror as it reveals how he is aging. He advises the youth to keep a book to record all his verses which he can read again someday, By recording his poetry, he can always read his thoughts of the past which will be enriching for the book as well.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 78 Analysis, So oft have I invoked thee for my muse

In sonnet 78, Shakespeare conjures up the theme of rivalry and jealousy to some extent where he says his poetry is everything and is because of the sole inspiration of the fair lord W.H as mentioned in the intro of a sonnet. He says other poets who may be copying him are just improving their styles whereas his poetry instead is totally dedicated to the fair youth. He was ignorant and through his poetry and being inspired by the youth he has improved and gained intelligence.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 79, Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid

In continuation of the theme of poetic rivalry and jealousy, the poet in sonnet 79 addresses the fair lord and tells him that he agrees with the youth that since his poetry isn’t doing justice to his looks, he should get another poet to write upon him. However, the poet speaking in a criticizing tone says that the new poet won’t really offer him any originality of verse but just use his looks to describe the youth which is as good as copying without any new ideas in verse.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 80, O how I faint when I of you do write

In continuation of sonnet no 79, sonnet 80 continues with the theme of rivalry where Shakespeare compares himself as an unworthy contender against the new poet who is writing about the fair lord instead of him. He compares his unimpressive writing to that of a small useless boat whereas the new poet is like a large ship. And though the new poet is writing about the youth; he also continues to do so in a stubborn fashion. He accuses himself saying that the reason for his decay was because he loved the youth too much.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 81, Or I shall live, your epitaph to make

In sonnet 81 Shakespeare reverts back to the theme of the immortality of the fair lord praising the abilities of his own poetry to immortalize the youth in his verse. He says that when he the poet dies, he will be rotting in an earthly grave whereas the youth will be enshrined in the memories of men and live on long after the present people have died and those who aren’t born yet will live one day to reward his poetry.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 82, I grant thou wert not married to my muse

In sonnet 82, Shakespeare continues the theme of poet rivalry where he addresses the fair lord W.H. by sarcastically praising other poets saying that they would be better suited to represent him being gifted with new literary styles and improvements. However, he ends by telling the youth that he is the only true original who can paint the youth’s true character in poetic verse whereas other writers resort only to false and blatant flattery.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 83, I never saw that you did painting need

In sonnet 83, the poet continues with the theme of poetic rivalry telling the fair lord W H that the youth may find him to silent as his words have not described the youth in a pseudo exaggerated praise. He accuses the youth of harboring doubts upon his verse thinking the poet to be at fault for lack of praise. Instead, the poet declares that he isn’t like other poets who resort to false flattery and end up spoiling the Lord’s name. He, the poet is genuine in his writing because the youth’s beauty is above poetic praise.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 84 Analysis, Who is it that says most, which can say more

In sonnet 84, Shakespeare continues with the theme of poet rivalry questioning the fair lord W.H. who among the poets can praise him suitably and create words that can replicate the perfection of looks that nature has bestowed upon the youth. He says that if a poet can do that, then his skill will be made famous everywhere. In an accusatory tone, he tells the youth that he has cursed his own beauty by wanting so much praise that ends in poets writing lines that are worthless.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 85, My tongue-tied muse in manners holds her still

In Shakespeare Sonnet no 85, Shakespeare continues the theme of poet rivalry telling the fair lord W.H. that he remains silent even in the presence of other poets heaping praise upon the youth as their words of poetry keep collecting. Yet he says that he loves the youth the most and his praise is in his thoughts and mind, unlike others who can only create words. He regards himself as being superior to others but yet he remains silent out of respect for them and wants the youth to acknowledge the same.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 86, Was it the proud full sail of his great verse

In Shakespeare sonnet 86, Shakespeare continues with the rival poet theme asking the fair lord W.H., was it the impressive style of the rival poet that silenced his own writing? He wonders if the rival poet was assisted by spirits instead but then refutes this saying that the rival poet cannot boast of having silenced him. It was the way the fair lord looked favorably on the writing of the rival poet giving it credibility and fame that has angered the poet into silence.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 87, Farewell, thou art too dear for my possessing

Shakespeare sonnet 87 is like a culmination of the rivalry poet sequence where now the theme is acceptance of rejection. Shakespeare tells the fair lord W.H that the youth is far more valuable than he thinks. When he entered into a relationship with the poet, he hadn’t realized his true worth and now that he does, he should realize he deserves better which is why he can sever all ties with the poet. The poet resigns himself to this fact saying their relationship was just like a dream to him.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 88, When thou shalt be disposed to set me light

In Shakespeare sonnet 88, the poet reverts back to the theme of unconditional love and resignation where he tells the fair lord W.H. That regardless of how he treats the poet, the poet will always love him. The poet says he will taint himself making himself bad in the eyes of others to justify the youth leaving him. He does this sacrifice out of his love for the youth.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 89, Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault

Shakespeare sonnet 89 is a continuation of sonnet 88 expressing the theme of sacrifice love and resignation. The poet feels that if the fair lord W.H. is unhappy with him and blames him for their separation, then he too will build upon the blame and distance himself from the youth. He says he will not speak about the youth for fear of spoiling his reputation because of his association with the poet. The poet adopts a self-derogatory conclusion saying that he will ignore his own hurt feeling as he cannot love a person whom the youth hates meaning himself.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 90, Then hate me when thou wilt, if ever, now

Among Shakespeare sonnets no 90, this is the third in the trilogy of the theme of sacrifice, resignation and final separation. The poet tells the youth that whatever suffering and humiliation he wants to subject the poet to, he should do it immediately before others start doing the same. He begs the youth not to prolong his suffering telling him that if he does whatever he wishes instantly which includes separation from the poet, he should do it earlier so that the smaller suffering that the poet undergoes will be much more bearable.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 91, Some glory in their birth, some in their skill

In Shakespeare sonnet no 91, the poet conjures up the older theme of relaxation and possessions. He compares his own state of pride by saying unlike men who are proud of material possessions, he is proud of his relationship with the fair lord WH and it is this which makes him feel he is prouder than others. However, he also hints at the reality of the situation by saying if the fair lord takes away his reason to be proud, he will be a wretched person.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 92, But do thy worst to steal thyself away

Sonnet 92 is a continuation of sonnet 91 where Shakespeare continues the theme of dependence and resignation to his relationship with the fair lord W H. he says that his love for the youth resigns himself to his condition where he is happy knowing that he loves the youth even though the youth can change his mind. However, that would kill the poet which also isn’t a botheration for him because in death he won’t even know when the youth is betraying him.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 93, So shall I live, supposing thou art true

Shakespeare sonnet 93 is a continuation of sonnet 92 where the poet expresses a theme of resignation, accusation, and love. He tells the fair youth presumably the Lord W. H. that he is a deceptive man whose looks are deceiving especially his eyes and beauty that only portray outward show. But He the poet will resign himself to assuming that the youth loves him. He compares himself to a husband who is being deceived. He tells fair youth that he will be considered an object only in looks but not in deeds and actions.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 94, They that have pow’r to hurt, and will do none

Shakespearean Sonnet 94 is considered a confusing sonnet by many and though the theme is not clearly discernible, by the last quatrain and ending, the poet seems to be making an accusation directed to the fair lord WH. Throughout the sonnet, Shakespeare makes references to objects of beauty but then also accuses the same beauty of being rotten if it is infected. He says that only those who are in control of their features and character deserve to be blessed and those who use their beauty for others, once infected by poor character and deeds end up being no better than rotten flowers looking worse than weeds.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 95, How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame

In Shakespeare sonnet no 95, Shakespeare outright uses the theme of accusation on the fair lord W.H. saying that he has an advantage because of his ability to hide his sins and faults and project a hypocritical good exterior to others who are fooled by the youth. He warns the youth that if he keeps up this type of character and activity, he will ultimately lose the advantage and be discovered.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 96, Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness

Shakespeare sonnet no 96 displays a theme of gentle remonstrance or scolding where the poet tells the youth that since he is blessed with such gifted beauty and looks, he can easily trick people into believing that he is good. Even his misdeeds are misinterpreted as good deeds and people are fooled by his looks into accepting his faults as virtues. But, the poet also asks the youth not to behave in such a fashion and mislead people because since he loves him, he too has his reputation at stake which depends on the behavior of the youth.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 97, How like a winter hath my absence been

In Shakespeare sonnet 97, the poet invokes the theme of separation brooding that the youth or fair Lord W.H. is gone away and not with him. Though their separation is in the summertime, he compares it instead with the feeling of winter when everything is dull, cold and dark. He says the happiness of summer depends on the presence of the youth and only then will he feel like it is actually summer. Even the songs of the birds sound like warning tunes that winter is coming.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 98, From you have I been absent in the spring

Shakespeare sonnet 98 once again displays a theme of love and separation where the poet first describes the season of spring and summer as a time when nature is blooming. It is so wonderful that even the aging god Saturn loses his identity to become young in the celebration of spring. However, because he is separated from his beloved, the poet says that all these objects of beauty mean nothing to him and it does not feel like summer. He only looks at the objects because it reminds him of his beloved.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 99, The forward violet thus did I chide

Shakespeare Sonnet 99 conjures the theme of love and praise where the poet praises his beloved and compares his loves qualities to the richness of nature, he says he has actually scolded the flowers like the violets and roses as their beauty has been stolen from the love’s complexion, their sweet scent from his love’s breath and their color from his beloved’s blood which they have dyed and used in individual colors. He compares the natural process of worms eating up flowers as revenge for their robbery.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 100, Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget’st so long

In Shakespeare Sonnet 100, Shakespeare invokes the theme of inspiration and poetic rivalry calling upon his muse to return whom he says is busy inspiring worthless poets. He tells the muse to look upon the beauty of his love so that she can inspire him to write poetry that will immortalize her to escape the ravages of time so that she will never be cut down by time from human memory.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 101, O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends

Shakespeare sonnet 101 is a continuation of sonnet 100 where the theme of inspiration and immortality is again reflected by the poet. He tells his muse that her absence cannot be excused and that she needs to start doing her job to provide the poet inspiration to make his love’s name (referred to as a he so presumably W.H.) last long into the future where people will remember him in the same way as he looks in his present.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 102, My love is strengthened

In Shakespeare sonnet 102, the poet speaks of the theme of the uniqueness of love where he makes a comparison between the nightingale and other wild birds. He says that the nightingale sings songs that can silence the night yet when other birds a start singing in every tree, it becomes a common noise that isn’t a pleasant or unique experience,. In the same way, he too says that although he loves his beloved a lot, he speaks about it less because he wants the words of love to be unique and not boring.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 103, Alack, what poverty my muse brings forth

In Shakespeare Sonnet no 103, Shakespeare reflects the theme of self-criticism and praising the value of his beloved saying that his muse does not inspire him to write well anymore in spite of having such a beautiful subject. It would be sin on his part to attempt to write that would result in undermining the beauty of his beloved. He says his poetry can no longer reflect the beauty of his beloved and even a hand mirror reveals it more than his verses.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 104, To me, fair friend, you never can be old

In Shakespeare sonnet no 104, Shakespeare reflects the theme of the ravages of time which is found in many sonnets. He conjures up fond memories about the way his friend Also W.H. (also regarded as the earl of Southampton) used to look saying many seasons and years have passed since then. Even though his friend is aging; he does not want to acknowledge it. He cries out to the public telling them that there was n beauty before the man existed.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 105, Let not my love be called idolatry

In Shakespeare sonnet 105, Shakespeare invites the risk of blasphemy according to experts of Shakespearean analysis by comparing the fair lord W.H. to a god by insinuating the similarities of the Christian Trinity in conjunction of virtues namely fairness, kindness and trueness. He says that these virtues provide him huge scope for creativity and though they are individual virtues in nature, they become one within the fair lord.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 106, When in the chronicle of wasted time

In Shakespeare sonnet no 106, Shakespeare displays the theme of love once again but with an element of nostalgia saying that ancient poets correctly described beauty in a way it should be praised. He states that ancient poets somehow knew how beauty would be existing in the present in the guise of the fair lord W.H. and in contrast to the present, people verbally praise beauty but cannot write about it.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 107, Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul

In Shakespeare sonnet no 107, Shakespeare invokes the theme of immortality using comparisons and metaphors to describe the present time of events stating how everything is mortal. He says that past predictions about the future have come true and are a moment of the present and though he too has to die, his memory of his bonds with his love will live on in his poetry and withstand the criticism of his critics and time.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 108, What’s in the brain that ink may character

In Shakespeare Sonnet no 108, the poet displays the theme of the immortality of love. He addresses the fair lord W.H. invoking older memories when they first met each other. He says that time has gone by and there are no new expressions of love he can think about except repeat the same thing like prayers every day. He tells the youth that even though they are old, and their appearances suggest that there is no love, he still sees the youth as if he has met him for the first time.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 109, O never say that I was false of heart

In Shakespeare’s sonnet 109 the poet deals with the theme of love telling the fair lord WH that he may have been absent for awhile but his love for the youth will remain unchanged. He reaffirms the fact that his body and soul remains in the heart of the fair lord and as such, it isn’t possible for him to separate from himself. He says in the universe there is nothing more important than the youth who is his everything.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 110 Analysis: Alas ’tis true, I have gone here and there

In Shakespeare sonnet no 110, Shakespeare continues from sonnet 109 displaying the theme of reconciliation and forgiveness. He confesses to his love that he has done the wrong thing by wandering off and giving in to his desires by loving others. He admits that he was wrong in not regarding the value of his true love by giving importance to others and that he realizes how godly is his love who he will regard as the best thing next to heaven.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 111, O for my sake do you with Fortune chide

In Shakespeare sonnet no 111, Shakespeare continues with the theme of forgiveness and his bad code of conduct saying had gone astray because of ill fortune which forced him to resort to living very low standards which spoilt his reputation in public. He asks the fair lord W.H. To pity him and if he does so, the poet would willingly make an effort to change and cure himself of his present condition. He needs no medicine except the forgiveness and mercy of his love.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 112, Your love and pity doth th’ impression fill

In Shakespeare sonnet no 112, the poet continues from sonnet 111 where he invokes the theme for fidelity and love for the fair lord WH. He says that the fair lord is his everything and only he has the right to judge his right and wrongdoings. He says that he is so immersed in the life of the fair lord that he has no time for others who are all dead to him.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 113, Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind

In Shakespeare sonnet no 113, Shakespeare reflects the theme of separation once more but this time implying that he is the one who has separated from the fair Lord W. H. he laments his separation saying that his entire mind is immersed in the thoughts if the far lord and nothing that his eyes see registers effectively where everything seems false to him just because his mind is too occupied with thoughts about the youth.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 114, Or whether doth my mind

Shakespeare Sonnet 114 is a continuation of 113 where the poet continues with the theme of separation from the fair lord W H. He says that in the separation, he has become so engrossed with the thoughts of the fair youth that his mind is hallucinating in false images and thoughts but he would readily accept these as a sign of his love which he compares to like the flattery of a king. The poet says he although he knows what he sees is false he will continue to indulge in it as he likes doing so.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 115, Those lines that I before have writ do lie

In Shakespeare sonnet 115 he deals with a theme of metaphysical love mixing up time when he was younger t the present day and comparing both asking how love can be both young and mature simultaneously. He doesn’t deal with the destruction of time like other sonnets but with times unpredictability saying that we do not know how love can increase or decrease with time and as a result, the poet should never have regarded his love as complete because in time it can increase more.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 116, Let me not to the marriage of true minds

In Shakespeare sonnet no 116, Shakespeare speaks about the theme of loves immortality saying that love is a permanent feature and is like a guiding star leading all those to one common goal which is loving each other. He says that though physical looks can be destroyed by time, love is eternal.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 117, Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all

In Shakespeare Sonnet no 117, Shakespeare deals with the theme of false accusation telling the fair lord W.H. with a tinge of sarcasm that he can accuse the poet of his infidelity and wander away from him because of being under the influence of others. He can heap as many accusations as he wants on the poet in terms of their friendship and love but the poet justifies everything saying that whatever he did, it was to test the strength of the youth’s love.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 118, Like as to make our appetites more keen

In Shakespeare sonnet no 118, the poet continues the theme of apologies for his own wayward behavior. He justifies his own attitude of presumed infidelities by saying that he was in a state of goodness by being lovesick over the fair lord and friend W. H. But he mistook it for illness instead and attempted to cure it with bad influences and the wrong people who ended up being bad for his emotional health.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 119, What potions have I drunk of siren tears

In Shakespeare Sonnet 119, the poet continues from sonnet 118 expressing the theme of philandering and infidelity after returning to his friendship with the fair lord W.H. He expresses the experience of separating which has led him to others and wrong deeds that have infatuated him like illness which made him temporarily insane. He also implies that he is suffering from some disease but in the course of his misdeeds, he feels that he realizes the value of his love and friendship saying that evil deeds have helped him increase his love instead

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 120, That you were once unkind befriends me now

In Shakespeare sonnet 120, the poet continues with the theme of apologies saying that he has wronged the fair lord W. H in too many ways. His behavior has been so inconsiderate that he did not stop to realize the feelings that he suffered when the fair lord did the same thing to him. He tries to justify the situation for making amends saying their mistakes against each other make the situation even.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 121, Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed

In Shakespeare sonnet no 121, the poet expresses a theme of hypocrisy showing saying that people who are even more corrupt judge and accuse him of doing vile deeds. He says it would be better to do the misdeed than to be accused of it and that he should not be judged by what men say until they themselves admit their own wrongdoings. He calls man corrupt and says that man will thrive on badness and evil.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 122, Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain

In Shakespeare sonnet no 122, the poet expresses the theme of the value of love where he says to the fair lord W.H. Though the Lord had given him a notebook, he instead records everything in memory and his brain. His love rather than be expressed on paper is worth more when locked in memory because that way he can find a way to make it last for all eternity. He feels to keep tools for recording such thing is admitting bad memory.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 123, No! Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change

In Shakespeare sonnet 123, the poet invokes the theme of immortality where he criticizes time saying that time is too short and makes everyone believe only what time shows to people. There is nothing permanent and as such because of the passing of time, we don’t really have anything concrete to admire because nothing is permanent because of time. The only thing that is true is the poet who represents his poetry which lives forever in spite of time.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 124, If my dear love were but the child of state

In Shakespeare sonnet 124, the poet expresses the theme of the superiority of life which he says his love for the fair lord W H was not an accident. It was created knowingly and with resolve. As such, he is uncaring of what others being royalty or common folk think of him. Hs love is impervious to accusations or praise and thus he does not need to feel if he has done bad or good. His witness are those who were fools in living one life but trying to transform themselves on their deathbed by making amends which the poet feels is futile.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 125, Were’t ought to me I bore the canopy

In Shakespeare sonnet 125, the poet conjures up once more the theme of love and loyalty saying that instead of leading a hypocritical false life and obsessing over material desires, he would prefer to live as a faithful man loyal to the fair youth presumably WH. He says that his sincerity is like a gift although poor is free and those trying to accuse him have no right to do so.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 126, O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy pow’r

Shakespeare sonnet 126 as many experts feel, is an end to the fair lord (presumable WH,) sequence. It expresses once more the immortal theme saying that even as he is withering away, the fair lord appears youthful. He feels that although Mother Nature is preserving the fair lord and keeping him youthful, the poet feels that ultimately, she will have to offer him back to the time that ends everything. Sonnet 126 also deviates from the 14 line format and ends in 12 lines only.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 127, In the old age black was not counted fair

Shakespeare sonnet 127 is the first of the dark lady sequence of sonnets that imply he has a mistress with a dark complexion. The poet expresses the theme of beauty saying that natural beauty is now being duplicated by people who are ugly but try to make themselves beautiful through false means. Thus he feels that fairness isn’t beautiful anymore and dark complexion is more suited to the example of beauty. He feels that this hypocrisy of people trying to imitate beauty has itself given beauty a bad reputation and now his mistress who mourns at the thought of ugly people mimicking beauty looks extremely beautiful herself to the point that her mourning eyes are being regarded as the very epitome of beauty.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 128, How oft when thou, my music, music play’st

In Shakespeare sonnet no 128, the poet again continues with the dark lady sequence expresses the theme of love and beauty praising his beloved. He uses the action of her playing a musical instrument to display her gracefulness and beauty saying that even the wooden instrument is transformed into something beautiful in her hands but he instead would prefer her hands to remain for the instrument while her lips and assets are for his pleasure.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 129, Th’ expense of spirit in a waste of shame

In Shakespeare sonnet no 129, the poet deals with the theme of lust expressing how the physical act of intercourse is only lust which is a temporary pleasure. He says lust can drive men mad making them greedy untrustworthy and violent and capable of becoming criminals too. He says that lust is such a thing that though men know it is bad they still pursue it as a type of heaven which only leads to hell instead.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 130, My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun

In Shakespeare sonnet 130, Shakespeare invokes the theme of love but form a concept of parody where the poet expresses his love for the dark woman even though she is not the example of natural beauty. He expresses his weakness for women through a negative comparison saying that in spite of her unorthodox looks he loves her because she is not unlike those women whom other poets are habituated in praising and praising and making false comparisons of beauty.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 131, Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art

In Shakespeare sonnet 131, Shakespeare continues with the love theme of the dark woman as his lady love. He admits he loves her and that her darkness to him is fair and beautiful but she has become dominating and proud and similar to those women whose beauty makes them proud. There is no proof as to whether the poet is referring ot the darkness as her nature or complexion but it appears he is hopelessly in love with her even though she has a reputation for being a woman with a haughty and tyrannical nature.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 132, Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me

In Shakespeare Sonnet 132, the poet again conjures up the theme of a woman coldly ignoring him. It is his own mistress who although does not pay him attention, looks on him with pity and compassion that he is still in love with her and his predicament is something she feels sorry about. In turn, the poet feels that this feature of his mistress who is presumably a dark woman makes her more alluring to him and as such he regards dark complexion as a feature of beauty where fair women he feels are ugly.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 133, Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan

In Shakespeare Sonnet 133, the poet continues with the theme of being tormented by his mistress who does not love him but takes delight in keeping him emotionally trapped and attracted to her. The problem here is that she has trapped his friend too who is pained to see the poet his friend in this predicament and seeing this, his mistress derives more pleasure from this mental torture. However, even as he implores her to leave his friend alone, he ends by saying he is totally enamored by her, and since he is trapped, his friend is too.

Sonnet Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 134, So now I have confessed that he is thine

In Sonnet 134, Shakespeare continues from sonnet 133 lamenting how his mistress ahs emotionally trapped both him and his friend. He says that his friend was trying to do a good deed by offering himself to become one of the possessions of the poet’s mistress just so that she would set the poet free. But the poet compares her to an unscrupulous moneylender who even after using his friend as a guarantor has trapped both of them and has not allowed the poet to be emotionally free from her.

Sonnet Analysis

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