Sonnet 87 by William Shakespeare is a testament to poetry’s enduring power. Delve into its verses and immerse yourself in a world of emotions and eloquence.
Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing.
Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing, And like enough thou knowst thy estimate. The Charter of thy worth gives thee releasing; My bonds in thee are all determinate. For how do I hold thee but by thy granting, And for that riches where is my deserving? The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting, And so my patent back again is swerving. Thy self thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing, Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking, So thy great gift, upon misprision growing, Comes home again, on better judgement making. Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter: In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.
Sonnet 87 Line by line Summary
Line 1: “Farewell! Thou art too dear for my possessing.”
Summary: The speaker bids farewell to someone they deeply cherish, feeling unworthy of possessing their affection.
Line 2: “And like enough thou know’st thy estimate.”
Summary: The speaker suggests that the person being addressed knows their worth.
Line 3: “The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing.”
Summary: The person’s inherent value grants them the freedom to make their own choices.
Line 4: “My bonds in thee are all determinate.”
Summary: The speaker’s emotional ties to the person are fixed and bound.
Line 5: “For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?”
Summary: The speaker acknowledges that they can only keep the person close if the person allows it.
Line 6: “And for that riches where is my deserving?”
Summary: The speaker questions their worthiness to possess such wealth (the person’s affection).
Line 7: “The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,”
Summary: The speaker feels lacking or insufficient to deserve the love bestowed upon them.
Line 8: “And so my patent back again is swerving.”
Summary: The “patent,” or right to possess the person’s love, is now being relinquished or revoked.
Line 9: “Thyself thou gav’st, thy own worth then not knowing,”
Summary: The person gave themselves to the speaker, perhaps not fully realizing their value.
Line 10: “Or me, to whom thou gav’st it, else mistaking;”
Summary: Alternatively, the person may have given their love to the speaker, but they could have been mistaken.
Line 11: “So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,”
Summary: The person’s significant act of love is now undervalued or misunderstood.
Line 12: “Comes home again, on better judgment making.”
Summary: As a result of better understanding or judgment, the person takes their love back.
Line 13: “Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,”
Summary: The speaker compares their experience of having the person’s love to a flattering but fleeting dream.
Line 14: “In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.”
Summary: In dreams, the speaker feels like a king, but upon waking, the reality is different.
Sonnet no 87 Summary
In Sonnet 87, the speaker addresses a loved one, bidding them farewell as they feel unworthy of possessing the person’s affection. The poem delves into themes of self-doubt and the transient nature of love.
The speaker begins by saying goodbye to the beloved, expressing that they are “too dear for my possessing.” The person being addressed is aware of their worth, and their inherent value gives them the freedom to make their own choices. The speaker’s emotional ties to the person are fixed and binding, but they acknowledge that they can only hold onto the person if they allow it.
The speaker questions their worthiness to be in the presence of such greatness, wondering where they stand in deserving such love. They feel inadequate to receive the affection bestowed upon them, leading them to relinquish their right to possess the person’s love.
The person had given themselves to the speaker, but the speaker wonders if it was a mistake or if the person needed to fully comprehend their worth at the time. As time passes and understanding grows, the person takes their love back, realizing the misjudgment.
The poem concludes with the speaker likening their experience of having the person’s love to a flattering but ephemeral dream. In dreams, they feel like a king, but upon waking, they realize the reality is different. This suggests that the love they once possessed was like a fleeting illusion, leaving the speaker with a sense of loss and self-reflection.
Overall, Sonnet 87 delves into the complexities of love, self-perception, and the delicate nature of human emotions, leaving the reader with a poignant sense of transience and uncertainty in heart matters.
Sonnet no 87 Critical Analyze
Sonnet 87, like many of Shakespeare’s sonnets, delves into the intricacies of love and human emotions. It presents a complex exploration of self-worth, affection’s transient nature, and the relationship’s power dynamics. Through its poetic language and emotional depth, the sonnet engages readers in a thought-provoking reflection on the complexities of love.
One of the central themes in Sonnet 87 is the speaker’s feelings of unworthiness in possessing the beloved’s affection. The word “Farewell” in the opening line immediately sets a tone of parting, suggesting a sense of certainty in the speaker’s decision to let go. The phrase “too dear for my possessing” reveals the speaker’s deep admiration for the beloved and their belief that they are undeserving of such love.
The sonnet’s exploration of self-doubt and insecurity is a timeless theme that resonates with readers across generations. It humanizes the speaker and makes the emotional experience relatable. The contrast between the beloved’s perceived greatness and the speaker’s sense of inadequacy creates a sense of tension and conflict within the poem.
Furthermore, the power dynamics in the relationship are intriguingly presented. The phrase “And like enough, thou know’st thy estimate” suggests that the beloved is aware of their value and has agency in the relationship. The speaker acknowledges their emotional ties to the beloved but recognizes that their ability to hold onto the person is contingent upon the beloved’s consent.
The sonnet’s structure and use of language contribute to its emotional impact. The quatrains and couplet format allow for a concise expression of complex emotions, while the imagery of dreams and awakening adds layers of meaning. The metaphor of a flattering plan emphasizes the temporary nature of the love the speaker once possessed. It highlights the bittersweet reality that what seemed perfect in the dreamlike state is fleeting and unsustainable in the waking world.
The language of the sonnet is rich and evocative, showcasing Shakespeare’s mastery of using poetic devices to convey profound emotions. The use of alliteration, assonance, and metaphors enhances the musicality and depth of the poem. Shakespeare’s skillful craftsmanship is evident in the way he weaves together words to evoke many feelings and thoughts.
In conclusion, Sonnet 87 is a poignant exploration of love, self-perception, and the complexities of human emotions. It captures the universal experience of feeling inadequate in the face of deep affection and delves into the transient nature of love. Through its poetic brilliance, the sonnet continues to engage readers and spark contemplation about the intricate workings of the heart and mind.