Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How might one interpret Shakespeare's Sonnet 152 ("In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn")?

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This is an interesting sonnet, especially from Shakespeare who seems to have had an aversion to oaths throughout much of his works, both plays and poetry.

In the first four lines, the poet begins by acknowledging that he has broken an oath ("I am forsworn"), which is important because oaths were usually taken very seriously and often carried a religious connotation --as in, "I swear before God."  In this case, the poet, by loving the person in this sonnet, has forsworn himself.  But he immediately accuses his lady (assuming it is a lady) of breaking two oaths: the...

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