Shakespeare's Sonnets By William Shakespeare Summary and Analysis Sonnet 32

Summary

Sonnet 32 concludes the sonnet sequence on the poet's depression over his absence from the youth. Again the poet questions the worth of his poems, but this time his insecurity has to do with their style and not with the intensity of their subject matter, which is his love for the youth: "Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme." The thoughts of his friends' and lovers' deaths in the previous sonnet make the poet reflect on his own mortality. Envisioning what the young man will say about the sonnets years hence, the poet expects the surviving youth to read them and deem them old-fashioned, so he asks that the youth read them for the love the poet had for him rather than for their style. There is a charming modesty to the poet's self-effacing attitude, but his tone is depressed and resentful of his unhappiness.

Glossary

bett’ring improvement as time passes.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

How many of Shakespeare's sonnets dwell on a religious theme?




Quiz