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Sonnet 146 Theme of Appearances

According to the speaker of Sonnet 146, his soul is a complete mess because he's been way too preoccupied with outward appearances when he should have been worried about inner worth. He spends a whole lot of time beating himself up for spending all his time, energy, and money on materialistic stuff like clothes and bling. You know—all those things you're always blowing your allowance on. That, he says, is no way to live out one's short time on this earth. After all, you can't take your closet with you when you die.

Questions About Appearances

  1. Do you agree with the speaker when he argues that being into clothes, jewelry, and cosmetics will kill your soul? Do you think you have to give up those things in order to have a rich spiritual life? 
  2. What should the speaker be focusing on if he wants to nourish his soul, anyway? He's not exactly forthcoming with the details. 
  3. Is there a way to find a balance here? Can the speaker care about appearances and also about his soul? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Our speaker needs to calm down. Sure, he may have blown some years on shallow vanity, but hey, it's never too late to do good.

Our speaker doesn't actually care about his soul. He just doesn't want to die.

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