William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Sonnet Cxxxiii - Poem by William Shakespeare

Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me!
Is't not enough to torture me alone,
But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be?
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken,
And my next self thou harder hast engross'd:
Of him, myself, and thee, I am forsaken;
A torment thrice threefold thus to be cross'd.
Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward,
But then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail;
Whoe'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard;
Thou canst not then use rigor in my gaol:
And yet thou wilt; for I, being pent in thee,
Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.

Comments about Sonnet Cxxxiii by William Shakespeare

  • Fabrizio Frosini (1/11/2016 4:09:00 PM)

    In this sonnet the poet introduces a further complication in his entanglement with his mistress, for it appears that his friend, the beloved youth, has also fallen for her, and is totally engrossed by her sexual charms. The poet hopes to ease the situation by pleading that his own heart can stand surety for his friend, and that it is enough for one of them only to be imprisoned by her. But even as he expresses this wish, he realises that it is a vain one, and that his mistress will be as harsh and frivolous with the friend as she is with him. He therefore feels a triple loss, of his mistress, for the friend has taken her, of the friend, for she has taken him, and of himself, for he no longer controls his own feelings. This loss is further increased since each of the participants suffers in a similar way, or exercises destructive power in a threefold relationship. (Report) Reply

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  • Fabrizio Frosini (1/11/2016 4:08:00 PM)

    The situation described is possibly the same as that dealt with in sonnets 40-42, and perhaps also alluded to in 34-5. (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 10:13:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: friend, alone, heart, sonnet, wind

Poem Submitted: Friday, May 18, 2001

Poem Edited: Friday, May 18, 2001

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