ysAnalysis of Sonnet 14 Not from the stars do i my judgement pluck, And yet methinks I have astronomy- But not to tell of good or evil luck, Of plagues, of dearths, or season’s quality: Nor can I fortune to Brief minutes tell, Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind, Or say with princes if it shall go well By oft predict that I in heaven find: But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive, And, constant stars, in them I read suck art As truth and beauty shall together thrive If from thy self to store thou wouldst convert: Or else of thee this I prognosticate:- Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date. 1-2: ‘I do not draw my conclusions from the stars, and yet I think I understand astrology; 3-4: ‘but (astrology) has never forecasted (to me) good or bad luck, or of plagues, or of dearths, or of the quality of the forecoming seasons:’ 5-6: ‘Nor can I prognosticate (from the stars) every single minute, assigning to each minute that is, whether or not it will thunder or rain or wind,’ 7-8: ‘Or say that all will be well by signs (of the stars), which looking to the sky (for answers) is my habit:’ 9-10: ‘only from your eyes do I form my knowledge, and, in your eyes (which are constant stars), do I see such art’ 11-12: ‘As truth or beauty thriving together, if you would convert from yourself to store as in store cattle:’ The paraphrase for the three quatrains may not seem necessary, as it is fairly straightfoward in its meaning; however, the couplet provides ambiguity. The couplet is where Shakespeare usually makes an antithesis of the three quatrains or presents some ambiguity, the latter of which is this one. I have found three ways to read this couplet, more specifically the last line: 1) your death is both doom and date for of truth and for of beauty (where truth and beauty are either possessive of the man or just in general), 2) your death is truth (it will happen) and destruction of your beauty is inevitable as a result of time, and 3) your end is truth (it will happen) and beauty is the destructor and finisher of you.

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