Shakespeare's Sonnets By William Shakespeare Summary and Analysis Sonnet 36

Summary

Obstacles to the friendship between the poet and the young man remain, but the poet is no longer wholly duped by his young friend. However, he still maintains that their love for one another is as strong as ever: "Let me confess that we two must be twain / Although our undivided loves are one." What is more clear than ever, though, is that the poet is wrong.

The poet's indifference to the youth's continued misbehavior — "those blots" — turns to open scorn, not of the youth, but rather of having to remain publicly separated from him. The necessity of a separation — "separable spite" — is a decision born of hard-won wisdom. Public shame makes the poet desire to bear his suffering alone, publicly refraining from acknowledging the young man — "I may not evermore acknowledge thee, / . . . / Nor thou with public kindness honor me." What is painfully apparent is that the poet has been publicly ridiculed and that the young man deceitfully continues to court favor from others. At this point in the sonnets, the relationship between the two men seems one-sided and incredibly unfair.

Glossary

twain two separate beings.

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