SONNET NO. 36
Let me confess that we two must be twain,
Although our undivided loves are one:
So shall those blots that do with me remain,
Without thy help, by me be borne alone.
In our two loves there is but one respect,
Though in our lives a separate spite,
Which though it alter not love's sole effect,
Yet does it steal sweet hours from love's delight,
I may not evermore acknowledge thee,
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
Nor thou with public kindness honour me,
Unless thou take that honour from thy name,
But do not so; I love thee in such sort,
As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.
Note the repetition of the following words, we find-loves,
loves, loves, loves, honour honour, thy help, thy name, thy good report (see 35).
In this sonnet, Bacon acknowledges that he and " Shake-
speare " are one and the same.
This sonnet is addressed by Bacon to his dramatic personality
Bacon says that we two (Bacon and Shakes-speare) are twain
although their undivided loves are one, i.e. their loves of Pallas
Athene. He says that those blots on his own name have to be
born by him alone and that he can get no help from Shakes-
speare as he dare not acknowledge the authorship of the plays
of Shakes-speare. He says that he can never publicly acknow-
ledge his authorship of the plays because if he did" his bewailed
guilt " (the fact that he has been forced to plead guilty to false
charges) might do harm to his plays and take honour from his
name, Shakes-speare. He therefore could not receive the
honour due to him as the author of the plays. He was forced
to keep silent and let the plays speak for themselves.