Shakespeare Sonnet 88 Analysis, When thou shalt be disposed to set me light

Recommended

This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 88. 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 88 (Original Text)

When thou shalt be disposed to set me light
And place my merit in the eye of scorn,
Upon thy side against myself I’ll fight,
And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.
With mine own weakness being best acquainted,
Upon thy part I can set down a story
Of faults concealed, wherein I am attainted,
That thou in losing me shalt win much glory.
And I by this will be a gainer too,
For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,
The injuries that to myself I do,
Doing thee vantage, double vantage me.
Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.

Shakespeare Sonnet 88 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare sonnet 88 modern text translation

-via SparkNotes

Shakespeare Sonnet 88 Analysis

The poet says that when the fair lord does not feel like thinking about him “When thou shalt be disposed to set me light” and makes others scorn him instead, “And place my merit in the eye of scorn” he will take the youth’s side even against his own feelings “Upon thy side against myself I’ll fight” not to do so to show that the youth is good and truthful even when he lies about the poet “And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.”

The poet says that he recognizes his own weaknesses “With mine own weakness being best acquainted” and can narrate stories about his secret faults “Upon thy part I can set down a story” where he is projected as an immoral person; “Of faults concealed, wherein I am attainted” this will make others think better of the youth for not wanting to be with the poet anymore “That thou in losing me shalt win much glory.”

In this way the poet will also gain “And I by this will be a gainer too,” so that his entire love can be directed towards the youth “ For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,” and whenever he injures himself, “The injuries that to myself I do,”it will help the youth which in turn benefits the poet’s advantage “Doing thee vantage, double vantage me.”

This is how much he loves the youth to whom he belongs “Such is my love, to thee I so belong,” and to help the youth get whatever he is entitled to, the poet will accept all faults to be his own instead “That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.”

Recommended Gifts