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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Will Shakespeare wasn't the first person to write an "Elizabethan Sonnet" but he was most definitely the best, which is why this particular sonnet form is also known as a "Shakespearean Sonnet." Pr...

Speaker

So, this poor chump is caught up in one of the messiest love triangles in Western literature and it feels like absolute "torture" (3). Not only has his mistress been hooking up with his BFF on the...

Setting

You'd probably rather spend your Spring Break at Coachella than hang out in Sonnet 133's emotional and psychological setting. Why's that? Because the speaker feels like he's trapped in some kind of...

What's Up With the Title?

When they were first printed in 1609, Shakespeare's sonnets were given numbers (1-154) instead of titles. Since Shakespeare probably had nothing to do with the publication of his work, we're not su...

Calling Card

Look, Shakespeare knows he didn't exactly invent the wheel when it comes to whipping up love poetry. He knows he's writing within a long, rich tradition and he's not afraid to borrow from it. Think...

Tough-o-Meter

We're not going to lie to you, Shmoopsters. Following our heartbroken speaker's train of thought can be a little tricky in this sonnet. His math skills are seriously questionable (line 8, we're loo...

Trivia

Sonnets 133-134, 144, and 40-42 all seem to be about the same messy love triangle between the speaker, his mistress, and his friend. (Source.) Some folks (like the crew over at PBS) think Shakespea...

Steaminess Rating

So, did you notice that our speaker is totally talking about his mistress' lady business when he describes the "deep wound" (2) she's given to both him and his friend? If you did, you probably also...

Allusions

Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34: The speaker alludes to Christ's crucifixion and sort of echoes the phrase "My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?" (7-8) Shakespeare may be the best sonnet writer o...
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