© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sonnet 146 Death Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #1

Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth (1)

We talk about this quote in "Themes: Religion" but we thought we'd give it a shout-out here, too. In the opening line, the speaker makes a distinction between his immortal "soul" and his mortal body, which will eventually die and be returned to "earth." (You know—when it gets buried in the ground and stuff.)

Quote #2

Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth, (3)

This is where the speaker says that his soul is wasting away (pining) and starving (suffering "dearth" or famine) on the inside. So, souls can't technically suffer famine and starve, right? Nah, this is a metaphor for how the speaker's soul isn't being nourished, figuratively speaking, of course. We also want to point out that the word "death" (famine) sounds a lot like death, which suggests that this guy's soul is in danger of dying. But, how can that be possible? Aren't souls supposed to be immortal? Otherwise, what's the point?

Quote #3

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

When the speaker refers to his "fading mansion," he's talking about his mortal body, which is growing oh so old. Not only that, but he compares his body to a house that's been leased or rented for a really short period of time. The point? Life on earth is temporary. YOLO etc.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...