Notes for Shakespeare's Sonnet 117


1. Accuse:—This is the beginning of an extended metaphor (which runs throughout the poem) in which the speaker is accused, put in bonds, transported, booked, threatened with execution, and makes an appeal of his sentence.  scanted: neglected.

5. frequent been with: been familiar with.   unknown minds: strangers; persons not worth knowing.

6. And given to time your own dear-purchased right: i.e., neglected you so long that I have squandered your rights in me.

10. on just proof surmise accumulate: add suspicion to proof.

11. level: range; aim.

13. appeal: plea (to a judge).   to prove: to test.