Shakespeare Sonnet 147 Analysis: My love is as a fever, longing still

Shakespeare Sonnet 147 Analysis: My love is as a fever, longing still

This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 147. 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 147 (Original Text)

My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
Th’ uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desp’rate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic mad with evermore unrest,
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen’s are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed;
For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

WIKI

Shakespeare Sonnet 147 Modern Text (Translation)

-via Sparknotes

Shakespeare Sonnet 147 Analysis

The poet says his love is like a fever that still longs “My love is as a fever, longing still” for the very thing that prolongs his illness and woeful condition “For that which longer nurseth the disease,” It also thrives on the very reason for his illness “Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,” just to satisfy his own sickly desire “Th’ uncertain sickly appetite to please.”

His own reasoning for this condition is like a physician for his love “My reason, the physician to my love, and like a doctor enraged when medicines aren’t taken, his reasoning has been angered “Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,” and has left him and now he is in a desperate condition “Hath left me, and I desp’rate now approve” and now realizes that desire is like death which is as the physician (his reasoning) expected and knew all along. “Desire is death, which physic did except.”

He is now beyond cure and his reasoning does not even care “Past cure I am, now reason is past care,” and he is now in a frantic and restless condition “And frantic mad with evermore unrest,” His thoughts and words are now like a madman “My thoughts and my discourse as madmen’s are,” who just speaks random rubbish that does not express any truth “At random from the truth vainly expressed;

Because he keeps swearing that his mistress is fair and beautiful “For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,” even though she is a black as hell and as dark as the night “Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

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