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

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This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 62. 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 62 (Original Text)

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul, and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed,
Beated and chopped with tanned antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
‘Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
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Shakespeare Sonnet 62 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare Sonnet 62 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare  Sonnet 62 Analysis

Although it appears the poet is professing a vain display of self-love, it is actually targeted at the fair youth’s way of thought where the poet says the sin of vanity engulfs everything he sees “Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye” including his entire soul ‘all my soul’ and every part of him. ‘my every part’ . From this sin, “for this sin” there is no remedy “no remedy,” as it is rooted deep within his heart. “so grounded inward in my heart.”

He says nobody’s face is as handsome as his “Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,” and no one’s body is as physically proportioned as his. “No shape so true” Neither does anyone have integrity as valued and high as his “no truth of such account” and he knows how to define his own value a “myself mine own worth do define,” and he exceeds every man in everything. “I all other in all worths surmount”

But when he looks into his mirror at his true reflection “my glass shows me myself indeed” which has been marked by age and darkened by the suns, “chopp’d with tanned antiquity,” he derives an opposite conclusion “self-love quite contrary I read;” that to keep loving himself and be vain would be a huge mistake “self-loving were iniquity.”

Because he is actually praising the fair lord ‘Tis thee, myself” when he praises himself “for myself I praise,” and decorates his own old age Painting my age with the beauty of the youth “with beauty of thy days.” which means with the youth next to him, he too looks good.

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