A Short Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 49: ‘Against that time, if ever that time come’

A summary of Shakespeare’s 49th sonnet

‘Against that time’: these three words begin the first, fifth, and ninth lines of Shakespeare’s 49th sonnet – each of the poem’s three quatrains, in other words. In this poem, in other words, the Bard considers a dark day in the future when the Fair Youth will realise that he, Shakespeare, is not worthy of his love, and will go off him. The poem deserves some close analysis for its treatment of an all-too-familiar theme: how you cope with loving somebody who you think is just simply too good for you.

Against that time, if ever that time come,
When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Called to that audit by advis’d respects;
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass,
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye,
When love, converted from the thing it was,
Shall reasons find of settled gravity;
Against that time do I ensconce me here,
Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
And this my hand, against my self uprear,
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part:

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