Shakespeare Sonnet 93 Analysis, So shall I live, supposing thou art true

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This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 93. 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 93 (Original Text)

So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
Like a deceived husband; so love’s face
May still seem love to me, though altered new:
Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place.
For there can live no hatred in thine eye,
Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.
In many’s looks, the false heart’s history
Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange,
But heav’n in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate’er thy thoughts or thy heart’s workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness tell.
How like Eve’s apple doth thy beauty grow,
If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show
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Shakespeare Sonnet 93 Modern Text (Translation)

shakespeare sonnet 93 in modern english translation

-via SparkNotes

Shakespeare Sonnet 93 Analysis

The poet says that he shall live with the assumption that the youth is faithful, “So shall I live, supposing thou art true,” he compares his state to a husband who is deceived by his partner (the fair lord), “Like a deceived husband;” The poet says that he will look at the beauty of the youths face “so love’s face and assume that the youth loves him still “May still seem love to me,” in spite of the fact that the youth actually doesn’t, “though altered new:” although he may look at the poet, in the same way, his heart is with someone else “Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place.”

He tells the youth because the youth can never show hatred in his eyes, “For there can live no hatred in thine eye,” the poet thus finds it difficult to find any change in his nature, “Therefore in that I cannot know thy change” Other men’s eyes and looks reveal their lies and unfaithfulness through their expressions, “In many’s looks, the false heart’s history” and such expressions are etched into their looks, their wrinkles and their moods “Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange,” But heaven has issued instructions concerning the youth, “But heav’n in thy creation did decree” that in his face only love will be seen “That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;”and regardless of his thoughts and desires “whatever thy thoughts or thy heart’s workings be,” his face will always express love and speak of sweetness “Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness tell.”

He tells the youth that he will only be compared to the apple of Eve which was a symbol of temptation and falsehood “How like Eve’s apple doth thy beauty grow,” if his sweet and virtuous looks are not reflected in his deeds. “If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show.”

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