This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 110. 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 110 (Original Text)
Alas ’tis true, I have gone here and there,And made myself a motley to the view,Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,Made old offenses of affections new.Most true it is that I have looked on truthAskance and strangely; but by all above,These blenches gave my heart another youth,And worse essays proved thee my best of love.Now all is done, save what shall have no end;Mine appetite I never more will grindOn newer proof, to try an older friend,A god in love, to whom I am confined.Then give me welcome, next my heav’n the best,Ev’n to thy pure and most most loving breast.
Shakespeare Sonnet 110 Modern Text (Translation)
Shakespeare Sonnet 110 Analysis
The poet laments that it is a fact that he has been here and there “Alas ’tis true, I have gone here and there” and made himself look foolish in front of others “And made myself a motley to the view,” he has allowed his thoughts to be divided and has made what was valuable to him appear worthless “Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,” and used new friends to assist him in making old mistakes again “Made old offenses of affections new.”
He admits that the worst fact about his actions is that he has indulged in what is untrue and treated true love “Most true it is that I have looked on truth” with contempt and strange behavior but the fact of all this is “Askance and strangely; but by all above,” that such actions have actually made him feel young again “These blenches gave my heart another youth,” and by making friends with others has shown him that his love is the best among all “And worse essays proved thee my best of love.”
Now he has done with all these actions except maintaining his love that has no end “Now all is done, save what shall have no end;” and that he will no longer go out into the world for such desires and new lovers anymore “Mine appetite I never more will grind” which only causes suffering to his old friend “On newer proof, to try an older friend,” who he compares to a god saying that he is committed to his love “A god in love, to whom I am confined.”