Sir Philip Sidney Questions and Answers

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What is the meaning of the 8th line in "My True-love Hath My Heart" by Sir Philip Sidney?

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In this poem, a female speaker describes the intense bond she feels with and for a beloved male. The poem reiterates the basic idea that the lovers have exchanged hearts: she possesses his heart and he possesses hers. In light 8, the speaker asserts that she cherishes her beloved’s heart because it “bides” (that is, abides) inside her. In other words, she cherishes his heart because it has metaphorically become her own heart. To love him is to love herself; to love herself is to love him.  Likewise, for the male, to love her is to love himself; to love himself is to love her. The highly repetitive language of the poem reinforces the idea that there is very little difference now between the lover and her beloved. The word “heart” appears eight times in 14 lines. The similar-sounding word “hurt” appears an additional three times. Such repetition helps to chief idea of the poem as a whole.

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