Shakespeare Sonnet 89 Analysis, Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault

Shakespeare sonnet 89 theme analysis and modern text

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This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 89. 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 89 (Original Text)

Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
And I will comment upon that offense.
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,
Against thy reasons making no defense.
Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill,
To set a form upon desired change,
As I’ll myself disgrace, knowing thy will;
I will acquaintance strangle and look strange,
Be absent from thy walks, and in my tongue
Thy sweet belovèd name no more shall dwell,
Lest I, too much profane, should do it wrong
And haply of our old acquaintance tell.
For thee against myself I’ll vow debate,
For I must ne’er love him whom thou dost hate.
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Shakespeare Sonnet 89 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare sonnet 89 modern text translation

-via SparkNotes

Shakespeare Sonnet 89 Analysis

The poet continues stating to the fair lord that if he says that he broke relations with the poet out of the poet’s fault, “Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,” then the poet himself will build upon the fault. “And I will comment upon that offense” If the youth speaks about his lame attitude, “Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,” then the poet will cease to defend himself against the youth’s accusations instantly and not defend himself “Against thy reasons making no defense”

He addresses the youth as his love saying he cannot disgrace the poet enough “Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill,” to effect a change in him “To set a form upon desired change, “as the poet instead will disgrace himself because he knows that’s what the youth wants “As I’ll myself disgrace, knowing thy will” and so he will purposely act as a stranger and pretend he doesn’t know the youth “I will acquaintance strangle and look strange”

He will not walk in the youth’s presence and neither will he speak about the youth, “Be absent from thy walks, and in my tongue” and he will never take his beloved name again “Thy sweet belovèd name no more shall dwell,” in case he spoils his name “Lest I, too much profane, should do it wrong” By reminding others of his association with the youth. “And haply of our old acquaintance tell.”

He says that for the sake of the youth he will argue against his own feelings “For thee against myself I’ll vow debate, “and loathe himself because he feels he shouldn’t love the person whom the youth hates (in this case the poet himself) “For I must ne’er love him whom thou dost hate.”

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