William Shakespeare

Colin Burrow (ed.), The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Sonnets and Poems

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pg 556 pg 557 88

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Notes

Critical Apparatus
1 disposed] benson; dispode q
Editor’s Note
1 set me light (a) value me at a low rate; (b) regard me as fickle
Editor’s Note
2 And … scorn hold my deserts up to public contempt
Editor’s Note
4 though both 'even though you are' and 'if (hypothetically) you were to be'. This masks a direct accusation as a piece of speculative hyperbole.
forsworn perjured; used especially of those who have broken vows of love
Editor’s Note
5 With … acquainted since I know more about my failings than anyone else
Editor’s Note
6 Upon thy part on your side, to strengthen your case. It is possible to take the phrase with faults concealed in the next line: so 'I can tell a story about hidden faults on your side too'.
Editor’s Note
7 attainted (a) tainted, stained; (b) found guilty of a criminal offence. These two senses were associated as a result of a false etymology which derived 'attainder' from French taindre, dye or stain.
Critical Apparatus
8 losing] q (loosing)
Editor’s Note
8 losing me Q reads 'loosing', which is the usual spelling of 'losing' (only in 125.6 is the verb spelt 'lose' rather than 'loose'). Here, though, Q's form allows a secondary sense, 'loosing', i.e. 'in setting me free'.
shall occurs where one would normally expect 'shalt', but the use of plural for singular form is not unusual.
Editor’s Note
10 bending … on turning towards
Editor’s Note
12 double vantage me do me a double advantage. That is, the poet will benefit twice by slandering himself: once because it will require him to think of the friend (ll. 9–10), and once because any benefit done to the friend will also benefit the poet, since the two lovers are one.
Editor’s Note
13 so (a) so completely; (b) in such a way
Editor’s Note
14 That for thy right (a) in order to assist your case; (b) in order to present you as virtuous (although you are not)
bear all wrong (a) put up with all injustice; (b) take the responsibility for all wrongdoing
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