Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What's the theme for "Sonnet 40" by Shakespeare?

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Reuben Lindsey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The themes of this sonnet, and of the two that follow, are both love and infidelity.  The thematic question posed by the poet is "How should I react when I am betrayed by my friend?"  The person of "youth" mentioned in the poem has begun an affair with the poet's mistress - this relationship is explained further in sonnet 41 - and the poet is...

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hramasam | Student

This sonnet affirms Shakespeare's love for his friend, at the same time expressing his grievance against the friend. Shakespeare's grievance is due to his friend's misdemeanour in having weaned Shakespeare's mistress away from Shakespeare for his own sexual pleasure. But Shakespeare is willing to forgive his friend if the friend continues to be friendly towards him and if they donot become each other's enemies.