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

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This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 84. 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 84 (Original Text)

Who is it that says most, which can say more
Than this rich praise, that you alone are you—
In whose conf’ne immurèd is the store
Which should example where your equal grew?
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell
That to his subject lends not some small glory.
But he that writes of you, if he can tell
That you are you, so dignifies his story.
Let him but copy what in you is writ,
Not making worse what nature made so clear,
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,
Making his style admired everywhere.
You to your beauteous blessings add a curse,
Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.
WIKI

Shakespeare Sonnet 84 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare sonnet 84 translation into modern text-via SparkNotes

Shakespeare Sonnet 84 Analysis

Shakespeare asks the fair lord among the writers, who is the one who writes the most about him and can praise the youth more “Who is it that says most, which can say more” than the fact that the youth is one of a kind “Than this rich praise, that you alone are you—“and within whose body an infinite amount of beauty is stored “In whose conf’ne immurèd is the store” so that only the youth can compare tio himself “Which should example where your equal grew”

He asks whose example can he use because only those weak poets aren’t able to improve the subject they write about “Lean penury within that pen doth dwell” by even a little praise to show the youth’s uniqueness “That to his subject lends not some small glory.” but if a poet who writes about the youth can recognize the youth’s unique beauty and find the right words to praise it, then his poetry will be a dignified one “ But he that writes of you, if he can tell”

The poet says that a writer only needs to replicate the beauty of the youth in words “Let him but copy what in you is writ,” and not underrate or spoil what nature has made so perfectly “Not making worse what nature made so clear, “then that style of writing will bring fame to his skills “And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,” where he will be admired and become famous everywhere “Making his style admired everywhere.”

But then he tells the youth that even as he has been blessed with beauty, the youth has added a curse to it “You to your beauteous blessings add a curse, “because of his desire to be praised all the time “Being fond on praise,” and that poets are writing praises that are not worthy of his beauty “which makes your praises worse”

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