The sonnet brings before us the ill effects of love and the disenchantment and pessimism of any individual towards it. To do all this, the poet uses forceful and meaningful imagery to reveal his perception of love as burdensome and unavailing in phrases such as And built his seat within my captive breast and My doubtful hope and like my hot desire. Love has been personified and made a human character. All these images having conflict in them are crystal clear proof of the port’s mastery over the task he is engaged in.

First, the poet fights with love and the result is that love reigns in his captive breast. The struggle takes more than a third of the sonnet. Perhaps the poet is striving to convey the idea that personal struggle with love is the most important and hardest aspect of love. Clad in arms wherein with me he fought.” This line brings before us two senses. One sense of the arms can be the physical image of cupping one’s hands over the heart as it beats wildly for love or in wrapping one’s arms around oneself to console as one’s love causes one’s anguish. The emotion that love brings fights with one’s will to compose oneself.

Second, the sense of the arms can be more likely to mean weapons in the historical context. The fight is between an armed warrior and a captive. It is no wonder that the end result has Oft in my face he doth his banner rest.”

The poem starts within his mind, Love that lives within my thought” and now it moves to the unattainable woman, “She that taught me love and suffer pain.” Here there is a conflict between hope and desire and the love and pain she causes. My doubtful hope and also my hot desire” can be referred to as the poet’s hope, his desire or the lady herself as the personification of hope and desire.

The last stanza with the lord is a bit confusing. The poet refrains from himself because of his lord, but somehow he is stepping on him. Yet from my lord shall not my foot remove.” So in the end, the poet resigns himself to get killed by the lord for pursuing his love. Or he commits suicide because he cannot take love. He embraces death in the last fight with love and dies or feels as if he were dead.

The closing line Sweet is the death that taketh end by love” is aphoristic. The meaning of the phrase is a little harder to decrypt. It is unclear whether the difficult syntax of death that taketh endis merely slightly tortured for effect or it is meant to support a further ambiguity on the order of Love and suffer pain.” What does it mean for death to take an end? It has so many details to explain. It may be the fulfillment of death i.e. a rendition of “die.” It could also mean just the opposite. However, the last line of the poem shows that it is almost ironic for him to end it in this way since the major part of this sonnet refers to the topic with negative adjectives. Whatever other readers think of this line and its meaning, we are still in doubt whether he means that death relieves the ‘Captive’ of their suffering or if it is simply a pleasant way to die. (Words: 573)