A Short Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 46: ‘Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war’

Interesting Literature

A summary of Shakespeare’s 46th sonnet

Shakespeare and the number 46 have a curious relationship. The theory that the Bard translated the 46th Psalm in the King James Version of the Bible (because Shakespeare would have been 46 when work on the translation was nearing its completion, and the 46th word of the psalm is ‘shake’, and the 46th word from the end is ‘spear’) persists; but what about his 46th sonnet?

Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war,
How to divide the conquest of thy sight;
Mine eye my heart thy picture’s sight would bar,
My heart mine eye the freedom of that right.
My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie,
A closet never pierced with crystal eyes,
But the defendant doth that plea deny,
And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
To ’cide this title is impannelled

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