This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 36. 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.
Shakespeare Sonnet 36 ORIGINAL TEXT
Let me confess that we two must be twain,Although our undivided loves are one.So shall those blots that do with me remainWithout thy help by me be borne alone.In our two loves there is but one respect,Though in our lives a separable spite,Which, though it alter not love’s sole effect,Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love’s delight.I may not evermore acknowledge thee,Lest my bewailèd guilt should do thee shame;Nor thou with public kindness honor me,Unless thou take that honor from thy name.But do not so; I love thee in such sort,As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report.
Shakespeare Sonnet 36 MODERN TEXT
Shakespeare Sonnet 36 Analysis
The poet is admitting to his friend “Let me confess” that they have to part must be twain, although they are united in love “undivided loves are one” and that the disgraces “shall those blots” that they both have brought upon each other because of their relationship will be borne by the poet alone “by me be borne” alone with no help from the friend.
Their love for each other” our two loves” is united by a single mind and respected by both “one respect” and the circumstances that are separating them “a separable spite,” are not strong enough to destroy their love “alter not love’s sole effect” It can only rob them of the moments they spend together “steal sweet hours”
He tells the friend or fair lord that once they separate, he cannot acknowledge or consider his existence again “evermore acknowledge thee” because the guilt within him “Lest my bewailed guilt” will bring more shame on his friend “do thee shame”. Neither can his friend honor him in public “Nor thou with public kindness” because it would mean inviting disgrace and dishonor upon himself “take that honor from thy name:”
He requests him not to acknowledge or make his friendship with the poet known publically “But do not so” because the poet values his reputation “I love thee in such sort” as if it were his own “As thou being mine” and that is the certificate of goodness the friends need to be concerned with “mine is thy good report”