No Love Can Be Separated by Spite
Can love survive endless separation? Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 36” describes in brief the brutality of separation and the pain of shame and guilt. This poem focuses on two people who want to be together but cannot because of the poet’s reputation, which will somehow end their companionship. The poet’s guilt and shame over his reputation has caused this separation, but yet he continues to acknowledge his endless love for his beloved. The poet stresses how the two must be separated but yet he continues to recognize their love for one another by using metaphor and word choice of togetherness and apartness.
Shakespeare uses the word “twain” in the first line of the sonnet to express a sense of apartness. In The Oxford English Dictionary Online the word twain is described as “separated, or apart”. The poet is using the word twain to express a sense of separation between the two. Although he is using the word twain in the first line to express separation, he continues by saying “Although our undivided loves are one” (2). Now in a sense of togetherness, Shakespeare is expressing their “undivided loves”. This use of metaphors suggests that they are married. Although we do not know at this point if his spouse is a male or female, we come to the conclusion that the poet is married. Shakespeare’s use of togetherness and apartness in the first two lines demonstrates that he wants to be with this person, but yet can’t for some undefined reason.
The poet then says, “Those blots that do with me remain” (3). In the Oxford English Dictionary, a blot is defined as “A moral stain; a disgrace, fault, blemish”. These “blots” refer to a spot or stain, which has ruined the poet’s reputation. Whatever the blot or stain is, it will remain with him forever. The poet then expresses his feelings of apartness from his beloved, “Without thy help” (4) implies that he must bear the burden of his reputation without his beloved’s help. Because of the...