In Shakespeare's Sonnet 116:Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds explain what kind of love can be an "ever fixed mark," and how love can be considered a "marriage of true minds." What has...

In Shakespeare's Sonnet 116:Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds explain what kind of love can be an "ever fixed mark," and how love can be considered a "marriage of true minds." What has Shakespeare discovered about the real nature of true love? How can I build a thesis that incorporates those ideas?

Asked on by jocmavid

1 Answer | Add Yours

durbanville's profile pic

durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Shakespeare's Sonnet 116: Let Me Not To The Marriage of True Minds has been read, repeated and romanticized through the centuries. Shakespeare evidently felt very strongly about his claims that love transcends everything. As an "ever fixed mark," Shakespeare is quite adamant in explaining its steadfastness. Those who love can be confident that their love will endure, not only during the good times but even, on potentially numerous occasions, when there are doubts and serious concerns that are so grave that they are comparable to "tempests." This kind of love may be a love between "soul mates" which may even be strengthened by the advancement of time. A modern interpretation depends on the reader as, unlike Shakespeare's day, there are no restrictions on how love is experienced or between whom. 

As "a marriage of two minds," love takes the best and worst and combines them to ensure a support structure. There is an intellectual connection in such circumstances and this is important because this contributes to establishing a foundation. A relationship based only on physical love may be fickle and selfish which Shakespeare alludes to when he says, "love is not love which alters..." clearly indicating that there are different kinds of love and revealing his intention to classify genuine love. This love "bears it out even to the edge of doom," also confirming the passionate aspect of love because, it if was not true love, one or other partner would not be prepared to suffer or persevere to this point. 

Shakespeare, it would seem, has concluded that love can center a person which the reader understands from "the star to every wandering bark;" giving direction, such as a star would do as it shines brightly in the sky, and from which people have been able to designate north, south and so on by the configuration of stars. 

A strong thesis is required; combining Shakespeare's unwavering view, revealing his contention that it would be worth risking everything to validate his claims which the reader can see when he says,"If this be error ....I never writ, nor no man ever loved." Shakespeare is so confident in his views as to dismiss all his previous works if he could be proved wrong. Some possibilities are: 

Love, without being a physical thing itself, has the capacity to surpass all expectations and to be the constant in a world full of doubt and insecurity. Shakespeare makes this quite clear to the point that he stakes his reputation on it. 

Never underestimate the power of real love; able to overcome any obstacle and not affected by "impediments;" it has immeasurable value and remains steadfast, even in the face of disaster. This is a love worth experiencing and Shakespeare reminds readers that it is within their grasp. 


We’ve answered 319,633 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question