Shakespeare Sonnet #116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

One of the reasons to like this sonnet is that here love is so divinely compared with marriage yet defines it different from the actual ceremony. Β What I understand here is that love between two people (whether same gender or different) is not bound by marriage. Love which changes with time or circumstances is not actual love. Love is constant and it doesn’t change even if one of the partner is physically away. It doesn’t shake even during difficult times (“That looks on tempests”). Love is like a star that guides a lost soul. Β Unlike the height of the star which can be measured, the star’s worth cannot be. Love is not age specific which is limited only when the partners are young and beautiful but it stays even when the body grows old and sick. It doesn’t change with hours and weeks but remains same even to the edge of doom. Β And then Shakespeare says that if what he has written here can be proved wrong, then his writings mean nothing and no man has ever loved.

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