Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sonnet 29 -- William Shakespeare

When, in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

3 Comments:

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Beyersdorf1 said...

*Background
-William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
-written between 1592-1597
-In 1592, the London playhouses closed as result of an outbreak of the plague, causing Shakespeare and actors to live with small wages. With the plague and such living conditions, one could not but feel afraid or forlorn.
*Structure
-With 14 lines and a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg, Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 29" is a traditional Shakespearian sonnet.
-Octave-first eight lines
-Sestet-final six lines
*Tone: 3 shifts
-Lines 1-4: Shakespeare’s despairing, bitter attitude toward his current state reveals his true melancholy attitude toward life.
-Lines 5-9: Starting at line 5, the speaker expresses his envy for those more fortunate than him. Some say that “him” in line 5 refers to his friend Earl of Southampton who was one of Shakespeare’s patrons. Line 8 shows Shakespeare’s discontent during the harsh times since writing was not remunerative, failing to support his needs.
-Lines 9-14: Shakespeare forgets his envy for others, becoming more pensive and dreamy about his state and concluding that his current mood is only transitory if he begins thinking about his lover. The final lines bring more hope into the poem, alluding to Shakespeare’s possible love for someone and how that love is a potent cure for his despairing state. He realizes love has predominance over wealth and power.
*Imagery
-Line 11-12: Image of the lark’s mood when the day rises reflects Shakespeare’s awakening of a new idea.
*Theme: Self-doubt
-Without the reassurance of others, one cannot live on.

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger SRashan said...

Speaker
-The speaker’s overall mood and attitude toward his state resemble Shakespeare’s life in 1592. At this time, London’s theatres had closed down because of the plague and naturally, Shakespeare felt “in disgrace with fortune.” The poem may not be directly about him, but it does link to his life. He feels hopeless because of the events in his life, but suddenly remembers someone he loves and realizes he has the will to live.
Language
- The poem starts out dark, using negative words that display the speaker’s feeling of loneliness and unsuccessfulness. We see that he feels forsaken and hopeless and has no self esteem.
- The poem shifts into a lighter and more hopeful tone, quite suddenly, and changes to more positive language once he thinks of his love. For example, in the beginning he cries out to heaven and goes unheard, but in the end he sings hymns to heaven’s gate.
-Shakespeare uses imagery like “lark at break of day arising,” to emphasis his tone and mood and paint a descriptive picture.
Tone
- The tone starts bitter, detached, and dark, and makes a complete turnaround to light and content.
- The poem is broken into two parts; the first eight lines of this sonnet are called an octave and have their own dark personality. The obvious shift in tone happens at the start is the sestet, the last six lines of the sonnet. He goes from hopeless to hopeful at the thought of this certain person.
Pattern
- This is a Sonnet and consists of fifteen lines. The first eight are an octave and the last six are a sestet.
- The rhyming scheme is in couplets.
Theme
- The theme of the poem is hope. It shows that even when men are at their most trying times (for example the plague), and it seems that there is no hope; one just simply has to remember that there is always something left to live for. The last line of the poem emphasizes this in a sense that even though he envies so many other people for their luck and success, his inspiration to love wouldn’t lead him to change places with a king.

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger SRashan said...

Hey Kelso, what's your email address?

 

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