Summary and Analysis Sonnet 136


Sonnet 136 continues to play on the word “will,” and the result is still more damaging to the woman’s character. The lady has other lovers but has not yet consented to accept the poet. In the last line, the poet acknowledges, “And then thou lovest me, for my name is Will,” most likely a reference to Shakespeare himself.

For all of the poet’s play on phrases like “I come so near,” “store’s account,” and “a something, sweet,” his satirical purpose is apparent. Essentially the poet’s argument is that one more lover — himself — will not overextend the mistress, especially when the poet characterizes himself as “nothing”: “For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold / That nothing me, a something, sweet, to thee.” The poet argues that, given the woman’s prodigious lust, adding one more lover to her stable of lovers is insignificant.