The message Shakespeare conveys in "Sonnet 146" is that the journey of life is filled with an internal struggle of the soul breaking free from the limitations bound by the body. The body's physical structure defines a territory in which the internal battle between the body and soul can occur. This conflict supplies evidence for the logical choice of inserting the phrase bound by in the second stanza of the "Sonnet 146." The soul bound by "rebel powers that thee array," (2) illustrates that the soul is constantly feuding for the dominant position. The struggle for power forces the physical structure of the body to serve as a prison where the soul is kept hostage. Shakespeare illustrates the soul as a victim, "having so short a lease," (5) leaving it to suffer dearth and pain. Through spatial metaphors, the soul becomes bound by the body in warfare, physical architecture and the body’s temporal existence.
The battle for divine power between the soul and the body is illustrated by a spatial relationship in where the tangible space between the body and soul binds the two entities in a militant style of warfare. In order to have a battle, there must be two opposing forces, each residing in their own space. Shakespeare aligns the body and soul "bound by these rebel powers that thee array," (2) into a structured uniform army of internal soldiers. The significant placement of the word array defined "to draw up
prepared for battle" (OED, I.1) links the physical space between the body and soul. This idea of warfare is also demonstrated by the definition of the word bound, "to be limited, or in a boundary beyond which soldiers reside in a particular area" (OED, 2c). The outlined domain is best explained by the phrase bound by because the geographical space between body and soul becomes a marked territory limited by the physical nature of the body. The physical area of the body metaphorically transforms in the middle of the sonnet to the architecture of a house by Shakespeare’s description of the body as "thy mansion."
Shakespeare expresses that the body is temporal while the soul is immortal by referring to the physical architecture of the body as "thy mansion." The freedom of the soul is trapped within the structured walls and territorial limits of the body. Shakespeare’s comparison of the body to a mansion, "dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend," (6) employs another register for the word array. According to the The Oxford English Dictionary (III.7), the word array is defined as, "to furnish a house" thus the soul is bound by the architecture of "thy mansion." The mansion constructs a roof and concrete walls around the soul entrapping it from power. However, the spatial metaphor of a mansion is not eternal. The soul is immortal and over time the frame of the body will deteriorate and crumble like the structure of a house, thus enabling the soul to achieve eternal power.
The body and soul are two entities tightly linked in space bound by time until the coming of death. The fading and deterioration of the body does not end the soul's existence. Shakespeare reminds the reader that over time the strength of the body fades with the lines "shall worms, inheritors of this excess/eat up thy charge?"(7 -8) granting the soul to pursue the reign of power. The body and soul become bound, battling in the spatial constraint of time. Shakespeare’s transition of the body and soul "then, soul live thou upon thy servant’s loss," (9) unearths the soul from being bound by the body. The soul begins to have the power to overcome the spatial limitations of the body. The slow terminal destruction of the body creates equilibrium of power clearing a path of free reign by the soul. The body has many limitations of time and space, which the soul must over come to receive the ultimate goal of eternal power.
The journey of life is filled with an internal struggle of the soul breaking free from the limitations bound by the body.Shakespeare places various spatial metaphors logically throughout the sonnet to enforce the idea that the soul is bound by the body. These confined spatial limitations link the body and soul in tangible space, but until the final terms of death an internal warfare continues to thrive. Inevitably, time is an external barrier for the body, which binds the two entities. Thus, the phrase bound by logically fits in the second line of the sonnet symbolizing the spatial limitations of one’s body.