Sonnet 112

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Sonnet 112

Your love and pity doth the impression fill,
Which vulgar scandal stamped upon my brow;
For what care I who calls me well or ill,
So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?
You are my all-the-world, and I must strive
To know my shames and praises from your tongue;
None else to me, nor I to none alive,
That my steeled sense or changes right or wrong.
In so profound abysm I throw all care
Of others' voices, that my adder's sense
To critic and to flatterer stopped are.
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:
You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
That all the world besides methinks y'are dead.

–William Shakespeare

Sonnet 112 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It is a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards a young man. It is noted for its compressed and obscure language.


The youth's sympathy is such that it conceals the badge of shame on the poet's brow. No-one else's opinion matters, since the youth covers the poet's misdeeds. The poet must learn to take the youth's estimate as the only one worthwhile. All other opinions are consigned to oblivion. His rejection of the rest of the world is so complete that the rest of the world may as well be dead.