“I Hate… Not You”

Sonnet one hundred and forty-five was part of the Dark Lady sonnets. When first interpreting this sonnet, one can come to a conclusion that this was written about a young woman that was not very fond of many things. The man that loves her seems to become insecure when she starting speaking about the things she hates, thinking that he is apart of those many things. Once seeing how upset this makes him, her heart becomes soft and she grants mercy on him as if she is making an acceptation in her heart for him. That is when she reassures him that she does hate, but not him.

In the first quatrain the speaker, speaks about the women he loves with passion however a sense of nervousness because she is speaking to him about things she dislikes. “Those lips that love’s own hand did make, breathed forth the sound that said ‘I hate,’ to me that languish’d for her sake” these lines represent an idea that the young man thinks that he is apart of the things she speaks about when talking about things she hates. She soon begins to realize that he is afraid that she might hate him, while he loves her dearly. Continuing to the second quatrain, the hate in the women’s heart seems to disappear and her words become soft and gentle when addressing him. “And taught it thus anew to greet;” could be interpreted as how the women has talked about hating things so much that her mouth is not familiar with kind words being spoken. Therefore, her mouth is being introduced to kindness and not the usual “gentle doom.” In the third and final quatrain, the women begins to alter the way she says she hates things so that the young man does not believe that she hates him. He discovers that she truly does not hate him when she says, “I hate… not you.” The young man explains that this saved his life, which could be understood that he would die of a broken heart if he did indeed heard her say that she hated him.

Shakespeare wrote this sonnet around the time that he was 18 years old. I believe that he was talking about his wife, Anne, and his insecurities that he had about himself in the relationship. Her being much older than he was made her more mature, helping her see the world from a different point of view, which makes sense why he would be insecure about her loving him when she spoke so ill about other things in life.


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