Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds

Summary of the Poem

‘Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds’ is one of the famous sonnets of Shakespeare and is addressed to an unnamed young friend of the poet called ‘Mr. W. H.’ This sonnet is in a perfect Shakespearean form with three quatrains and a rhyming couplet. It’s rhyme scheme is abab, cdcd, efef, gg.

In this sonnet Shakespeare delineates the great qualities of true love. The poet has explained true love in a very free way. Ex-pressing his faith in the power of true love, the poet says that there can be no obstacles in the union of true lovers. True love is unchanging. It never changes even when there is a chance of change. It does not submit to the power of its annihilator. In other words the poet declares it unparalleled quality of constancy and steadfastness. True love never yields before anybody.

The theme of the poem is fully developed by comparing the everlasting nature of true love to the sun and North star (Pole Star) which is to remain constant and guide the wandering ships in the uncharted ocean. In the same way true love also does not yield before the difficulties of life and guide lovers in their life. True love is permanent and fixed like the sun and the pole star in the universe.

According to Shakespeare time is a universal destroyer which destroys everything but it has no effect on true love. He compares time to a farmer. A farmer reaps crops with his sickle. In the same way time destroys the physical beauty of a person. It can finish the rosy lips and cheeks of a lady. But true love does not come in the range of time’s sickle. It does not change with the passage of time. The depth of love, like full worth and potentialities of the guiding star can never be completely known. The North Star and ideal love are both beyond human estimation. They are too high to be measured. True love or the spiritual love is not at all affected by death, decay and destruction caused by the passage of time. On the other hand, it remains constant even to the dreadful day of judgment.

In the end the poet makes a claim. He asserts that if any body can prove him wrong, he will admit that he is neither a poet nor has anybody ever loved in this world. To conclude, it can be said that the theme of this sonnet has been beautifully and effectively developed. True love is constant, immortal and a source of guidance to the lovers in life.

Reference to the Context

Stanza – 1

Let me not………………………… remove to remove

Reference to Context:-

These lines quoted above have been taken from the poem ‘Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds’ written by William Shakespeare. In this poem, the poet gives the definition of true love. He says that true love is fixed and eternal. The poem is a beautiful love sonnet. These are the opening lines.

Explanation :-

In these lines William Shakespeare says that there cannot be any obstacle in the union of minds of the persons who are true to each other. Here, in these lines, ‘marriage’ is signifying union, friendship and understanding. It is the marriage of true minds and not to the marriage of bodies. In other words this marriage of two true minds is true love and this true love never changes with the passage of time and circumstances. That love is not true love which changes when it finds a chance to change. True love or the spiritual love does not submit to the power of its annihilator. Here in these lines the poet gives the idea of the genuine love which never changes and never yields. It always remains permanent.

Stanza – 2

O, no! it is ………………………… height be taken

Reference to Context:-

These lines quoted above have been taken from the poem ‘Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds’ written by William Shakespeare. In these lines the poet gives the qualities of true love. He says that there can be no external barriers in the way of the union of true lovers. There love is constant like a light house and the Pole star. It guides lovers as the Pole star guides the wandering ships. It is permanent and immortal.

Explanation :-

In these lines, the poet asserts that true love is constant and firm. He compares true love to a light house and the Pole star. As the light house in constant, It faces storms in the sea and is never shaken, in the same way true love is not shaken by the difficulties and problems of life. The Pole star serves as infallible guides to the ships in the uncharted ocean. True love also guides lovers in life. The depth of true love, like full value and potentialities of the guiding star can never be completely acknowledged. The Pole star and ideal love are both beyond human estimation. They are true height to be measured. In other words we cannot measure the real influence of love on human life.

Stanza – 3

Love’s not …………………………………. Man ever lov’d

Reference to Context:

These lines quoted above have been taken from the poem ‘Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds’ written by William Shakespeare. In these lines, the poet says that true love is a firm and constant. It never ends. Time has no effect on the true love. These are the last lines of the poem.

Explanation :-

In this stanza the poet says that true love is not time’s slave. It does not change with the passage of time. Although time is a universal destroyer. It can destroy everything. It can cut down the physical beauty of a person. But true love does not come in the range of time’s sickle. Time has no effect on true lovers. Here time is a personified as a farmer harvesting the crops with a sickle. In other words physical beauty is temporary, seasonal and mortal but true love is constant and immortal. Its stand still even to the dreadful day of judgement. The poet strongly affirms the steadfast nature of true love. In the couplet the poet makes a claim. He says that if anybody can prove him wrong in his assessment of true love, he will admit that he is not a poet. Nor has anybody loud in this world. These lines show the fixed and eternal nature of perfect love.

Question-Answer (Short Type)

Q.1. Express the central idea of the sonnet in your own words.

Ans. The central idea of the poem is constant and eternal nature of true love. It is firm like the sun and the pole star and guides young lovers. There can be no eternal barriers in the meeting of true lovers. It can not be destroyed even by the passage of time because it is immortal and permanent. On the other hand, it stands still till the end of the world and servers as a source of guidance to the lovers.

Q.2. How has beauty been described as weak before time?

Ans.: Time is personified as a farmer harvesting the crops with a sickle. According to the poet time is a universal destroyer and it destroys everything. It cuts down the physical beauty such as the rosy lips and cheeks of a lady. The outward attraction of a lady may vanish with the passage of time as the physical beauty is temporary, seasonal and mortal. In this way beauty is weak before time.

Q.3. How far do you agree with the poet’s statement: Love is not time’s fool’?

Ans.: We fully agree with the poet’s this statement because time is a great destroyer and it can finish everything. Time has a great capacity to cut down the physical beauty of a person as physical beauty is seasonal and mortal. But true love on the other hand can not be destroyed by the passage of time. The forces of time have no effect on the true or the spiritual love. It remains constant till the dreadful day of Judgement.

Q.4. Which characteristic quality of true love is highlighted by the use of phrase ‘ever fixed mark’?

Ans.: The constant or the permanent quality of true love is highlighted by the use of ever fixed mark. True love is compared to the sun and the pole star which is fixed and constant in the universe and serves as infallible guides to the wandering ships in the sea. In the same way true love is unchanged and constant and does not submit to the power of its annihilator. It is not destroyed and shaken even by the most powerful thing like the time. In other words time has no effect on true love. That’s why true love is compared to the sun and the pole star.

Q.5. What is the assertion made by the poet in the couplet of this sonnet?

Ans.: The couplet forcefully establishes the poet’s intensity of feeling about the nature of true love. Shakespeare in these lines makes a claim that if anybody can prove him wrong in his assessment of true love, he will admit that he is neither a poet nor has anybody ever loved in this world. Couplet finishes the poem and concludes it logically.

Question-Answer (Essay Type)

Q.1. How does Shakespeare define true love?

Ans.: Shakespeare thinks that true love is constant, steadfast and unchanging. In order to prove his point, he equates the everlasting nature of true love to the sun and the North Star. The sun and the pole star are fixed and eternal in the universe and serve as infallible guides to the wandering ships in the uncharted ocean. The sun and the North Star cannot be shaken and destroyed by anything. Even the most powerful thing “the time” which destroys everything else has no effect on these things. In the same way true love guides lovers in the sea of life. It also remains steadfast like the pole star and the depth of this true love like the full value and potentialities of the guiding star can never be completely known. The North Star and ideal love are both beyond human estimation, too high to be measured.

According to the poet, true love is not a slave of time. Time can destroy the physical beauty of a person. It can finish the rosy cheeks and lips. The outward attraction of a person may vanish with the passage of time, because physical beauty is temporary, seasonal and mortal. Time is here compared to a farmer. As a farmer reaps his crops with a sickle, time also cuts down the physical beauty of a person. But true love is out of the range of time’s sickle. It does not submit to the power of its annihilation. It remains constant till the dreadful day of Judgement. In other words the poet declares the steadfast nature of true love. The perfect love lasts eternally. It is not at all affected by anything in this world.

In the couplet the poet makes a claim. He asserts that if anybody can prove him wrong in his assessment of the true love, he will admit that he is neither a poet, nor has anybody ever loved truly in this world. Thus the poet defines true love as fixed, eternal, unyielding and timeless.

Q.2. Define Metaphor. Elaborate various metaphors used in this sonnet.

Ans.: Metaphor:- A metaphor is a comparison which is implied and not formally stated. In a metaphor a word which is standard or literal usage denotes one kind of thing, quality, or action to another, in the form of a statement of identity instead of comparison. Thus when we say that “He is a lion”, it is a use of metaphor. In this sonnet Shakespeare compares true love to the sun and the North Star. Through these comparisons, the poet wants to prove that true love is fixed and unchanging.

Shakespeare compares the everlasting nature of true love to the sun and the pole star, which is fixed, unyielding and timeless and serve as infallible guides to the wandering ships in the uncharted ocean. In the same way the perfect love is constant and firm. It faces the difficulties of the life but is not shaken. Nobody can finish true love. True love remains unchanged before the challenges and troubles of life. Like the pole star true love guides the lovers in the life. The depth of the true love, like the real value and potentialities of the guiding star, can never be completely acknowledged. The North Star and the perfect love both are beyond human evaluation.

The poet personifies time. He compares time to a farmer. As the farmer harvests the crop with his sickle, in the same way time cuts down the physical beauty of a person because time is a great destroyer. But even this powerful time has no effect on the true love. True love does not come in the range of time’s sickle. It does not change with the passage of time. Rather it remains constant till the end of the world. So Shakespeare uses Metaphor with a great command and control. It is through the use of such metaphors that he is able to communicate his ideas about true love.

Q.3. Explain the structure and rhyme of the sonnet. Give illustrations.

Ans.: “Let me not to The Marriage of True Minds” is one the famous sonnets of Shakespeare. A sonnet is a lyric poem, written in a single stanza, which consists of fourteen iambic pentameter lines, linked by an intricate rhyme scheme. The sonnet form originated in itlay. There are Shakespearean and Italian sonnets. In Shakespearean sonnet we have three parts of four lines each and couplet at the end following the rhyme pattern of ab ab, cd cd, ef ef, gg. In Italian sonnet we have two parts of eight and six lines. There is generally a slight change of thought in the last part. This very sonnet has its own structure comprising exposition, elaboration, exemplification and inference.

The first quatrain proposes the theme, the second and the third enlarge and exemplify the exposition and the couplet concludes the sonnet.

The poem is a typical Shakespearean sonnet. It has three parts of four lines each. These are called quatrains. There is couplet at the end. In the first three parts, the poet defines the qualities of perfect love. He asserts that true love is permanent and unchanging. In the couplet in the end, he makes a claim. He says that if any body can prove him wrong, he will admit that he is not a poet, nor has any body ever loved in this world.

The rhyme scheme of poem is ab ab, cd cd, ef ef, gg. In each stanza the first line rhymes with the third and the second with the fourth e.g. minds-finds, Love-remove, mark-bark, shaken-taken etc. In the couplet both the lines rhyme with each other.

Q.4. How has true love been presented as permanent and immutable?

Ans.: The sonnet is written by the great dramatist and poet William Shakespeare and is about the nature of true love. In this poem the poet delineates the great qualities of true love. Expressing his faith in the power of true love, the poet declares its unparalleled quality of consultancy and steadfastness. Shakespeare believes that there cannot be any obstacles in the union of two hearts. They remain united under all circumstances. True love is firm and constant. It is not at all affected by difficulties and problems of life. True love guides the paths of lovers. The theme is fully developed by comparing the everlasting nature of true love to the sun and the pole star, which are fixed and unyielding and serve as guides to the wandering ships in the sea. In the same way true love is permanent and eternal and does not submit to the power of its annihilator. The depth of the true, like the guiding star is beyond human estimation, too high to be measured. True love is not time’s slave. It does not change with the passage of time. Time can not destroy true love. On the other hand it remains constant and firm till the dreadful day of Judgement. In the end the poet makes a claim. If anybody can prove him wrong, he will admit that he is not a poet and no one has ever loved in this world. Thus the theme of the poem is the constant, eternal and immortal nature of true love. Thus using various metaphors, similes and images the poet establishes his idea that true love is permanent and even time cannot erase it.

Sonnet 116: Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds – Summary and Solved Questions

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