Homework Help

What does this quote by William Shakespeare mean? "The course of true love never did...

user profile pic

jisele | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 9, 2009 at 11:49 AM via web

dislike 1 like

What does this quote by William Shakespeare mean? "The course of true love never did run smooth."

Tagged with literature, sonnets

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted May 9, 2009 at 12:01 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Put simply, it means that things don't always go smoothly in "true love."  Sometimes people think that love will make all bad things go away, that it will overcome all foibles, disagreements, whatever.  Shakespeare is letting us know that this is not the case.  However, in Sonnet 116, he makes the equally important point:  "Love is not love which alters when it alterations finds."  Despite the changes and the hard times, true love will find it in itself to overcome and endure.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes