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Sonnet 146

Sonnet 146


by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 146 Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Will Shakes 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." Pretty i...


We've got to be honest with you, Shmoopers. The speaker of Sonnet 146 sounds more like a 16th-century preacher than the lusty poet we're used to hanging out with in the other 153 sonnets. Elsewhere...


Even though the speaker addresses something nobody ever gets to see (his "soul" or, his immortal spirit), he uses a lot of images from the physical world to make the following point: our physical b...

What's Up With the Title?

Here's the deal. All 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets are assigned an individual number instead of a title. Sometimes they're referred to by their first lines so, #146 is often called "Poor soul, the c...

Calling Card

Look, Shmoopers. Shakespeare whipped up 154 sonnets in this cycle so, naturally, he's going to have a few go-to metaphors that he's not afraid to reuse every now and again.One of his favs pops up i...


We're not going to lie to you. This seems like one of the tougher sonnets in Shakespeare's cycle and not just because it can be such a bummer to read about death. Sonnet 146 is chock full of biblic...


The average life expectancy in Elizabethan England was about 40 years. Dang. No wonder the speaker of this sonnet is obsessed with death. (Source.)Shakespeare's son Hamnet died of an unknown illnes...

Steaminess Rating

Sonnet 146 isn't steamy at all. It's worried about bodily desires in general but doesn't specifically bring up the topic of sex. We can't say as much for the rest of Shakespeare's sonnets.


Line 1: Genesis 2:7 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-50Line 2: Matthew 6:28-29Lines 3-14: 1 Timothy 6:12-19Line 13: 1 Corinthians 15:54Line 14: (Judgment Day) 1 Corinthians 15:26; Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 21...

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