William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Sonnet Cxxxiv - Poem by William Shakespeare

So, now I have confess'd that he is thine,
And I myself am mortgaged to thy will,
Myself I'll forfeit, so that other mine
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still:
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free,
For thou art covetous and he is kind;
He learn'd but surety-like to write for me
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind.
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,
Thou usurer, that put'st forth all to use,
And sue a friend came debtor for my sake;
So him I lose through my unkind abuse.
Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me:
He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.


Comments about Sonnet Cxxxiv by William Shakespeare

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


    This sonnet is a continuation of the previous one, and reflects on the situation that the poet and his friend find themselves in due to the entanglement with the dark lover, who it appears has infatuated both of them. A noticeable feature of the sonnet is the plethora of legal and financial metaphors, which combine to suggest that love is a mercenary and sordid transaction which binds the participants into an inescapable slavery. There is nothing in it which indicates that love can be at times an inspiring and magical experience, nothing of the devotion and eternal commitment which characterises so many of the earlier love sonnets to the youth. Instead one is given the impression of souls in torment, thrashing around in a sulphurous pit, and every hope that is raised is immediately dashed. He forfeits himself to free the youth, but she will not free him. The youth pays the whole debt to free the poet, yet he is still not freed. They are both trapped in the nasty murky world of the back street money lender, forever locked in a sordid enmeshment of sexual and emotional blackmail. (Report) Reply

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  • Fabrizio Frosini (1/11/2016 4:10:00 PM)


    The imagery of money lending does not entirely hang together, in that it is almost impossible to be specific about the meanings of mortgage, bond, surety, sue, debtor in the context of loving relationships. However it hardly matters, for the picture of infatuation, addiction, hope, frenzy and disappointment is clear enough and no further embellishment seems to be necessary. It would be pleasant to set this down as a love poem, but it is more the poem of a tortured soul, and it is worth noting how far Shakespeare has wrested the tradition of the love sonnet from its sweet ideal of courtly and refined love to show how at times the actuality is rather more fleshly and distinctly of a darker and more savage colour.
    shakespeares-sonnets.com
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  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 10:17:00 AM)


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

  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 10:16:00 AM)


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

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Read poems about / on: friend, beauty, lost, sonnet



Poem Submitted: Friday, May 18, 2001



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