Sonnet 42

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 42:

Sonnet XLII

That thou hast her it is not all my grief,
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
That she hath thee is of my wailing chief,
A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
Loving offenders thus I will excuse ye:
Thou dost love her, because thou know’st I love her;
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me,
Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her.
If I lose thee, my loss is my love’s gain,
And losing her, my friend hath found that loss;
Both find each other, and I lose both twain,
And both for my sake lay on me this cross:
But here’s the joy; my friend and I are one;
Sweet flattery! then she loves but me alone.

 

My interpretation: This Sonnet is about love and friendship. The speaker is talking about his love for a girl and his love for his best friend– both who happen to be together. He is grieved that he lost his love to his best friend, but is more upset at the fact that he has lost his best friend to the girl. He has some closure in the fact that through his loss, they both gain significantly, but that is the few glimmers of hope and happiness he seems to have through this. The project helped explain this by showing the speaker in the background of what looks like two people in love. But the detail the video really helped explain was the line “…my friend and I are one;/ Sweet flattery! then she loves but me alone.” (lines 13-14). The video helps explain what this means– the best friend and him are basically the same person so she loves him just the same– by showing the men hug and her kissing the speaker, and then walking away with the best friend like nothing ever happened. The video also explained the “my loss is my love’s gain” by showing he is bittersweet about the relationship of his friend and his love throughout the video.

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