Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 88’

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Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 88’ is the first of a mini-sequence in which the poet anticipates his friend’s rejection and declares his intention in such a case to take the friend’s side against himself. However in this Sonnet – as in the rest of the 154 – things are never as they first seem. A rereading reveals a Sonnet which makes a sly but brutal attack on his would-be critic and painfully-beloved friend.

 

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