In "Sonnet 35," what does the speaker long for even though it causes him pain?

In "Sonnet 35" the speaker longs for his beloved, even though she causes him pain. Or to be more precise he suffers because he can never get enough of his beloved. That's why he pines for her, and why his hungry eyes can never achieve contentment. Nothing else can compare to her, and this causes the speaker even deeper pain as there's nothing with which he can distract himself.

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"Sonnet 35" is undoubtedly a love poem. But it deals primarily with the pain of longing that is so often a part of being in love. The speaker cannot help but long for his beloved, even though it causes him considerable emotional pain. And no matter how much his hungry eyes feast upon the glorious sight of his lady love, they can never be satisfied.

The speaker's pain is heightened by the fact that nothing else in this life can compare to his beloved. Everything pales in comparison with her to the point that it all becomes completely irrelevant:

Of that fair sight, that nothing else they brook, But loathe the things which they did like before, And can no more endure on them to look.

All this world’s glory seemeth vain to me, And all their shows but shadows, saving she.

The world is unreal by comparison to the speaker's beloved. It's as if she's a Platonic Form, a timeless, prefect idea of Beauty to which everything else is nothing but a pale shadow. The speaker is so fixated on his...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 834 words.)

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