Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What is an explanation of Sonnet 58?

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This sonnet belongs to a larger group of sonnets that are written to a young, aristocratic man. The speaker is madly in love with the young man and laments his indifference to their relationship. The speaker has become a slave to the love she feels for him and prays that the god who made her a slave to her lover will also give her the strength not to try and control him, asking him to account for how he spends his time. Because the speaker is his servant, she can do nothing but accept his decisions. The speaker prays for patience in waiting for the young man to make time for her and the strength not to accuse the young man of hurting her. The speaker then resigns herself to the fact that the young man is free to go and do as he pleases because he has the power in the relationship not only to make the decisions but also to forgive himself for any wrongdoings he may committ. She then tells the young man that waiting for him is hell, but she has no choice but to accept what the young man does and the decisions that he makes. The speaker is religioiusly devoted to him, and in her eyes, he can do no wrong. The speaker is powerless to walk away from the relationship or to change the young man in any way, so she's left waiting for him to give her some time whenever he feels like it.

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