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Shakespeare's Sonnets

William Shakespeare

Summary and Analysis Sonnet 90


Already distressed by "the spite of fortune," the poet urges the youth not to postpone his desertion of him if that is what he intends; do it at once, the poet begs: "Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now." His appeal for a swift and decisive action demonstrates how grave the crisis is to the poet. Phrases like "If thou wilt leave me" and "loss of thee," following upon "forsake me" in the preceding sonnet, indicate unmistakable anxiety, resentment, and grief felt by the poet. Afraid that everyone and everything are now against him, the poet fears most that the youth will "overthrow" him: "And other strains of woe, which now seem woe, / Compared with loss of thee will not seem so."