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  • All men make faults, and even I in this, Authorizing thy trespass with compare, Myself corrup=ng, salving thy amiss, Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are. [5] Everybody makes faults, and even I in doing this, Jus=fying your crimes by comparisons, Making myself a corrupt leader by trying to remedy your misdeeds. Excusing your sins and even sins you havent commiHed. [5]


  • According to ScoKsh poet and writer Don Paterson, it is not known when exactly each sonnet (including 35) was created in rela=on to which stage of Shakespeares life [1]. This could be either a young or older Shakespeare, but it is unclear exactly when he wrote his sonnets in his life=me. One piece of evidence that shows incongruence is Sonnet 117 [1]. This sonnet (117) sounds like a younger Shakespeare judging by how it was wriHen, versus the mature Shakespeare we see in Sonnet 35 [1]. According to Professor of English John Klause, there was a lot of specula=on as to who the poet of these sonnets was supposed to be. Klause claims he may have been an older man, due to the fact that Shakespeare refers to his old age and knowledge in some of his later sonnets [2]. But it is not the age of the poet that is important, but it is the expected fact that the man has lived a long, exhaus=ng life [2]. It is hard to say whom exactly the poet is addressing, but according to writer D. Petrescu, whomever the poet is addressing is a person who commiHed sin (either towards or to the knowledge of the poet) and it is a man commiKng this sin [3]. Petrescu states it is unclear what exactly the sin commiHed was, for it does not say [3]. This sin commiHed may have been something dark or extreme because in line three Shakespeare refers to clouds and eclipses. According to Petrescu, in those =mes clouds and eclipses were a sign of illness [3]. It is possible that this man was a lover or a close acquaintance. According to Chris=ne Hutchins, if it were his lover, Shakespeares lovers seemed to not only be single, but also extremely physically available [4]. Shakespeare was said to have been credited with the rst sonnet sequence to show lovers being tortured due to unfaithful ac=ons [4].


  • Not only is the who important, but what about when it was made? Since Shakespeares sonnets were not wriHen or assembled in chronological order, its hard to tell exactly when Sonnet 35 was wriHen. But, you can tell by the use of certain wri=ng techniques approximately when he may have done it in his life=me. This was most likely wriHen later in his life=me. According to Petrescu, in the third quatrain, Shakespeare begins to use legal terms to break away from the biblical language of sin at the =me [3]. This leads him into the fourth quatrain. The signicance of the couplet is that he emphasizes how badly the poet feels, however his strong, emo=onal feelings for the sinner are much stronger than whatever damage was caused by the sinners sins [3]. Shakespeare also integrated some an=-Petrarchism style into his sonnets. Audiences were horried at the dark imagery Shakespeare uses, according to Hutchins [4]. He would have used these techniques later in his life=me; around the =me many others had started doing the same. Hutchins says that those who opposed English Petrarchan tradi=on or love poetry would say that style of using intense romance and sexual imagery was only unique to Shakespeare. However, plenty of Italian, French and English sonnet writers also used Petrarchan tradi=on in their poetry [4].


  • Why did Shakespeare use this certain style of intense and somewhat horric imagery in this sonnet? Many English sonnet writers were credited for adding a lot of praise and blame (both self and on others) as well as overemphasizing conic=ng states of pleasure and pain according to Hutchins [4]. So, this was a very popular style to use in this =me period. This sonnet can even be read with a sarcas=c or over-exaggerated Klause points out where Shakespeare somewhat over exaggerates in sonnet 35: The Poet goes so far as to take upon himself the sin and excusing his Friends amiss [1]. The poet claims he was robbed (of a lover) when really he or she really could have just lef him for someone else. Klause states that Shakespeares sonnets can be read as rhetorical. If this is the case, the meaning and tone of the pieces change in their en=rety. Shakespeare makes mul=ple references to love, friendship, betrayal and self-examina=on in his sonnets and if they were to be taken as rhetorical and not serious as though it sounds, they lose their meaning [1]. It can be seen rhetorical in sonnet 40 when his friend commits an indelity. Klause claims that Shakespeare wants to show despair from the indelity, but then shows a no=on that the poet has known the truth and has been at terms with it all along [1]. Petrescu shows something interes=ng about line 4. When the poet is talking about a canker in a bud, it sounds like the speaker is referring to an actual ower. However, Petrescu points out that bud being used in that context has a double meaning; the meaning it has is buddy or friend [3]. According to Petrescu, Shakespeare is referring to the worm in the bud as there is bad in my friend [3].


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