Shakespeare Sonnet 91 Analysis, Some glory in their birth, some in their skill

Shakespeare sonnet 91 summary, theme and analysis with modern text translation

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This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 91. 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 91 (Original Text)

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their body’s force,
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill,
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humor hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest.
But these particulars are not my measure;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments’ cost,
Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
And having thee, of all men’s pride I boast;
Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
All this away, and me most wretched make.
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Shakespeare Sonnet 91 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare sonnet 91 modern text translation

-via SparkNotes

Shakespeare Sonnet 91 Analysis

The poet says some people are proud of their birth and social status but others are proud of their talents and skill. “Some glory in their birth, some in their skill” Some are only proud of their wealth while others are proud of being strong. “Some in their wealth, some in their body’s force,” Some are proud of their clothes in spite of them being weird to look at. “Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill,” Some are proud of the hunting dogs and hawks they own while others are proud of their horses, “Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;”

He says every person has his own individual humor “And every humor hath his adjunct pleasure” which pleases him beyond anything else “Wherein it finds a joy above the rest.”but the poet does not regard such things as a measure of happiness “But these particulars are not my measure;” and there is something better and above all of these. “All these I better in one general best.”

To the poet, the love of the fair lord is more important than a high social standing, “Thy love is better than high birth to me,” it is more valuable than money, or fancy clothes, “Richer than wealth, prouder than garments’ cost,” it gives more pleasure than owning hawks or horses “Of more delight than hawks or horses be;” and in being with the youth gives him the biggest reason to be prouder than others “And having thee, of all men’s pride I boast;”

Except that the poet considers himself a wretched person “Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take” because the youth can very easily take all this away from him “All this away,” making him a miserable person “and me most wretched make”

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