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

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This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 58. 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 58 (Original Text)

That god forbid, that made me first your slave,
I should in thought control your times of pleasure,
Or at your hand th’ account of hours to crave,
Being your vassal bound to stay your leisure.
O let me suffer, being at your beck,
Th’ imprisoned absence of your liberty;
And patience tame to sufferance bide each check,
Without accusing you of injury.
Be where you list, your charter is so strong
That you yourself may privilege your time
To what you will; to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.
I am to wait, though waiting so be hell,
Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well.
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Shakespeare Sonnet 58 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare sonnet 58

 

Shakespeare Sonnet 58 Analysis

The poet says that God should not allow “that god forbid”, after making him the youth’s slave “that made me first your slave” to think about controlling the times the youth has his affairs and pleasure. “Control your times of pleasure,”

Neither should he long to hear from the youth “your hand th’ account” about how the youth spends his hours “of hours to crave” as he is the youth’s servant “Being your vassal” and at his discretion and summons “bound to stay your leisure”

The poet asks that he should suffer “O let me suffer” this fate of being at the youth’s beck and call “being at your beck, “Comparing to a prison the absence of the youth from his emotional life. “Imprisoned absence of your liberty” He seeks to compare patience or the long hours of waiting to suffer “patience tame to sufferance” and accept it as an insult “bide each check,” without wanting to accuse the youth of doing so “Without accusing you”

Wherever the youth maybe, “be where you list” he has his freedom which is complete” your charter is so strong” and he is the master of his own leisurely time. May privilege your time “Whatever he does,” that is his business and can pardon him for any crime he commits “yourself to pardon of self-doing crime”

but the poet has to wait “I am to wait,” although to him the waiting is like hell “though waiting so be hell” and not blame the youth for his desires “Not blame your pleasure” regardless if they are good or bad “be it ill or well.”

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