Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How might one interpret Shakespeare's Sonnet 61, "Is it thy will, thy image should keep open"?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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[This is my interpretation of the sonnet.]

The theme of Shakespeare's Sonnet 61 seems to be that of love's disruption to an otherwise normal life. In other words, the speaker notes that being in love is turning his life upside-down.

Shakespeare's sonnets generally organize his ideas in the first two quatrains (four-line stanzas). In the poem's first eight lines, the speaker asks the subject of the sonnet if it is "her" intention to mess up his life. Make note of the first quatrain:

Is it thy will, thy image should keep open

My heavy eyelids to the weary night?

Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,

While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?

The speaker is saying, "Is it your desire that images or thoughts of you keep me from falling asleep even when I'm exhausted? Do you want...

(The entire section contains 452 words.)

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