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Sonnet 116 Paraphrase

Updated on January 11, 2016
Jenny Talaver profile image

Jenny is a Philosophy Major from Ateneo de Zamboanga University. She has been an online writer for three years now.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare. An English poet, playwright, and actor.
William Shakespeare. An English poet, playwright, and actor. | Source

Paraphase

Allow me not to state reasons why two truly and rationally willing people

cannot marry each other. It is not love

if the feeling changes when it discovers changes in the situation,

Or shifts its firm relationship when one lover becomes unfaithful.


Quatrain 1

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments; love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds

Or bends with the remover to remove.

Love is love when it is unconditional

Allow me not to state reasons why two truly and rationally willing people cannot marry each other.
Allow me not to state reasons why two truly and rationally willing people cannot marry each other. | Source

Paraphase

Oh no! It is a lighthouse,

That oversees storms and never trembles from its foundation;

It is the star that guides all the wandering vessels

Its worth cannot be measured by any value or currency, but its intensity (height of emotion) can be calculated to an extent.

Quatrain 2

O no! It is an ever-fixed mark,

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wand'ring bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love akin to a Light house

Love is a light house that oversees storms and never trembles from its foundation.
Love is a light house that oversees storms and never trembles from its foundation. | Source

Paraphase

Love is not governed by time, even if physical beauty

will fade as time goes by

Love does not change with the limited period of togetherness

But endures until Death comes at the end of human life.

Quatrain 3

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

Growing Old with one's beloved

True love does not depend on the beloved's appearance. It endures the test of time.
True love does not depend on the beloved's appearance. It endures the test of time. | Source

Sonnet 116 - a reading

Paraphase

If these thoughts of mine about love are disproven,

Then I renounce all that I have written, and no one has truly experienced loved ever in life.

Couplet

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Sonnet 116's Enduring Message

Does the message of Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 still apply to the modern context of love?

See results

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    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      2 years ago from Australia

      A truly brilliant Hub.

      I've often wanted paraphrasing of the sonnets. Some years ago a barrister friend of mine tried to do it to all of them. You have done an excellent job perhaps better than him.

      I have been sharing some of your Hubs and will do so again.

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