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Sonnet 146

Sonnet 146

Appearances Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth,
.......these rebel pow'rs that thee array, (1-2)

Here, the speaker makes it sound like his body has covered up his soul with a bunch of clothes. ("Array" means to dress or clothe.) At this point in the sonnet it's pretty hard to figure out where he's going with this idea. We have to keep reading to see how Shakespeare is going to develop the metaphor.

Quote #2

Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay? (3-4)

The "outward walls" he's talking about are the body and its parts. The speaker is suggesting that he's been spending a boatload of time and money on decking out his body (probably with expensive duds and accessories). As a result, his soul is totally wasting away and dying. Oops.

Quote #3

Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend? (5-6)

Now he uses a metaphor to compare his body to a house that's getting old and falling apart on the outside. He argues that it's a complete waste of time to spend so much time and money on something that's just going to die.

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