Shakespeare Sonnet 133 Analysis: Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan

Shakespeare Sonnet 133 Analysis, theme, summary and modern English translation

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This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 133. Continue reading for complete analysis and meaning in the modern text. For the complete list of 154 sonnets, check the collection of Shakespeare Sonnets with analysis. It is highly recommended to buy “The Monument” by Hank Whittemore, which is the best book on Shakespeare Sonnets.

Shakespeare Sonnet 133 (Original Text)

Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me;
Is’t not enough to torture me alone,
But slave to slavery my sweet’st friend must be?
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken,
And my next self thou harder hast engrossed;
Of him, myself, and thee I am forsaken,
A torment thrice threefold thus to be crossed.
Prison my heart in thy steel bosom’s ward,
But then my friend’s heart let my poor heart bail.
Whoe’er keeps me, let my heart be his guard;
Thou canst not then use rigor in my jail.
And yet thou wilt, for I being pent in thee,
Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.
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Shakespeare Sonnet 133 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare Sonnet 133 Modern English translation

-via SparkNotes

Shakespeare Sonnet 133 Analysis

The poet tells his mistress that he curses her for making his heart suffer “Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan” and for how she has wounded him and his friend “For that deep wound it gives my friend and me;” He asks her why it isn’t enough to torture him alone “Is’t not enough to torture me alone,” Instead of making his friend slave to slavery (his friend is pained to see the poets condition) “But slave to slavery my sweet’st friend must be?

He says that her attraction has stolen his own self-dignity “Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken,” and his friend who is like his second self, she has pain even more because his friend can’t seem to bear the poet’s condition “And my next self thou harder hast engrossed;” and thus, the poet has been abandoned by three people, himself, his mistress and his friend (he could be referring to the self-respect he enjoyed from all three entities which is now lost) “Of him, myself, and thee I am forsaken,” which is a torment that is now three times stronger a burden to be borne “A torment thrice threefold thus to be crossed.”

He implores that she imprisons him in her heart “Prison my heart in thy steel bosom’s ward, and leave his friend alone “But then my friend’s heart let my poor heart bail” and whoever imprisons the poet emotionally, he will not mind but he will prevent and guard his friend from being so “Whoe’er keeps me, let my heart be his guard; “ in this way, the poet cannot be tormented because his friend will keep him happy “Thou canst not then use rigor in my jail.”

But in spite of this, he says his mistress will still torment him since he belongs to her “And yet thou wilt, for I being pent in thee,” and since he belongs to her “Perforce am thine,” everything that is his including his friend belongs to her too “and all that is in me.”

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