Sonnet 29 of Shakespeare is one of the 154 sonnets written by William Shakespeare. Like most other sonnets, sonnet 29 also follows the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG written in iambic pentameter. It has three quatrain and an ending couplet, a typical Shakespearean sonnet. This sonnet was published in 1609 Quarto.
In this sonnet, the speaker expresses his concern about being an outcast and the list of misfortunes he has suffered. He notes that the love can heal one’s injuries and pains of heart in life. Continue below for the summary and analysis of the Sonnet 29: When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes.
SONNET 29 OF 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 my self 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.
SONNET 29 OF SHAKESPEARE SUMMARY
In the first quatrain of the Sonnet 29 of Shakespeare, the speaker begins by saying that whenever he is struck by misfortunes, people would begin to see down upon him and none would come to his help. At such times, he would sit alone and cry for being an outcast (none to accompany him) and blame heaven (god) for turning deaf ear to his cries and not answering his prayers. Sometimes he would look upon himself and curse his fate.
In the second quatrain of the Sonnet 29, the speaker continues to say that he would sit alone crying and wishing he were someone with better possibilities, and good friends, Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope, totally discontent with what he is blessed with.
In the third quatrain of the Sonnet 29, the speaker admits that during such difficult times if he has the thoughts of his beloved (the Fair Youth), he suddenly regains all his strengths. He would feel himself as a bird that at the break of day flies up singing hymns at heaven’s gate. The poet notes the power of love here. It has potential to heal any pain or injury of heart.
In the concluding couplet of Sonnet 29, the speaker says that with all his strengths regained, he would then deny his place with kings. The youth’s sweet love would bring such wealth and strength.
Love, solitude and anxiety are the major themes in this sonnet. When the poet has negative thoughts in his anxiety and solitude, he turns to positivity and regains strength because of the power of love. The Sonnet 29 starts negatively, but ends optimistic.
Poetic techniques or devices are literary devices used in poetry to enhance the intensity of feeling, to create rhythm and in particular to beautify the verses. In the sonnet 29 of Shakespeare, the poetic devices employed by the poet are alliteration, imagery and enjambment.
Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line. In the sonnet 29 of Shakespeare: Haply I think on thee, and then my state.
Imagery is visually descriptive or figurative language in a literary piece which makes readers perceive things with their five senses. In this sonnet: “I all alone beweep my outcast state” and “That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”
Enjambment is a thought that does not come to an end at a line break. But it continues to the next line. In this sonnet: “For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”
THE 1609 QUARTO VERSION OF SONNET 43
When in diſgrace with Fortune and mens eyes,
I all alone beweepe my out-caſt ſtate,
And trouble deafe heauen with my bootleſſe cries,
And looke vpon my ſelfe and curſe my fate.
Wiſhing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him,like him with friends poſſeſt,
Deſiring this mans art,and that mans skope,
With what I moſt inioy contented leaſt,
Yet in theſe thoughts my ſelfe almoft deſpiſing,
Haplye I thinke on thee, and then my ſtate,
(Like to the Larke at breake of daye ariſing)
From ſullen earth ſings himns at Heauens gate,
For thy ſweet loue remembred ſuch welth brings,
That then I skorne to change my ſtate with Kings.