Skip to content
Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

News

Mirror, Mirror: The Uses and Abuses of Self-Love

Mirror, Mirror:  The Uses and Abuses of Self-Love

by Simon Blackburn,
Psychology Today, March 12, 2014

Confessing that self-love possessed "all my soul and all my every part," William Shakespeare declared in Sonnet 62 that "for this sin there is no remedy." And yet, Simon Blackburn points out, the Sonnet continues with a complex reversal. A look in the mirror undoes the author's vanity, revealing "me myself indeed/Beated and chapped with tanned antiquity." In the final two lines, Shakespeare incorporates his beloved as a second self, integral to what we might now call his "identity," providing a legitimate reason for self-contentment and self-love.

 

Read the full article (PDF)