If Thou Must Love Me, Let It Be For Nought (Sonnet 14) Literary Elements

If Thou Must Love Me, Let It Be For Nought (Sonnet 14) Literary Elements

Speaker or Narrator, and Point of View

The speaker is a woman complaining to her beloved about the nature of love. The narration is from both first and second-person points of view.

Form and Meter

As a sonnet, the poem is broken into an octave and a sestet written in iambic pentameter.

Metaphors and Similes

In the line “A creature might forget to weep” the speaker uses the metaphor to refer to herself.

Alliteration and Assonance

Alliteration appears in the line “Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!”


As the speaker suggests, falling in love should be unconditional yet she instructs her beloved on how not to love her.


Petrarchan sonnet


The setting is the thoughts and feelings of the speaker as she addresses her beloved.


Assertive; Demanding; Protesting

Protagonist and Antagonist

Protagonist: The unnamed speaker addressing her lover. Antagonist: The social constructs that distort the true nature of love.

Major Conflict

The speaker desires to be loved for sake of love and not grounded on human qualities that are fleeting and temporary.


The climax occurs when the speaker stresses that even in sympathy love will still fade away before the mood of her speech changes.




In condemning the reasons why people fall in love, she understates the aspect of intellectual connection by declaring it as “trick of thought”.


The poem alludes to the outdated and clichéd principles regarding the nature of love in that it is based on behavior and physical appearance.

Metonymy and Synecdoche



In the poem, the speaker personifies love as an entity with character and human qualities.


The speaker uses hyperbole to assert that her lover should love her forever and for eternity which is an impossibility.


"Weep” is an instance of onomatopoeia

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.