Homework Help

Please explain "Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds" (or Sonnet 116) by Shakespeare.

user profile pic

yayuda0011 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 6, 2009 at 10:50 AM via web

dislike 2 like

Please explain "Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds" (or Sonnet 116) by Shakespeare.

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

lit24 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted November 6, 2009 at 12:42 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

Shakepare's Sonnet No. 116, "Let Me not to the Marriage of True Minds" is a fervent expression of the theme of constancy in love. Love which is the "marriage" or sacred union between two minds is "true" only when it is constant.

He defines true love both negatively and positively. True love will not change when any type of change occurs in the life of the lovers or when the lovers are separated - "removed."

It is, Shakespeare asserts, "an ever-fixed mark" that can weather any storm. It is the fixed star by which sailors steer their wandering ships. Even though the lovers grow old and their youthful beauty fades with the passage of time their love for one another will remain constant and firm till death separates the true and constant lovers.

Shakespeare swears that all what he has said in the quatorzain is true and that if he is proved wrong then neither has any person truly been in  love nor has he ever written. However paradoxically, since the poem has been written it means that all what Shakespeare has written about true love is indeed true.

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 6, 2009 at 11:06 AM (Answer #2)

dislike -1 like

This question was asked a couple days ago.  Please follow the link to see what I and a colleague said...

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes