Good Example Of World Literature Essay
Discussion M 8: A-G “When in disgrace with Fortune”
Instruction #1: Read the sonnet carefully and slowly a few times until you feel confident reading it aloud, with some sense of its rhythm and grammar. Write in a sentence or two what you think the general idea or message of the sonnet is.
When in disgrace with Fortune* and men's eyes, *fate or destiny (does NOT mean wealth)
I all alone beweep* my outcast state, *cry about
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless* cries, *futile
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, *Fortunately
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
My macro-level contribution:
The general idea or message of the sonnet is that the sonneteer has a downcast condition in both personal and other men’s affairs that is why he wails his current plight like no other individual. He begs to God, but to no avail; hence, spurns his lot to the point of comparing himself with another person who is endowed with life’s good fate (such as having friends, adroitness and freedom). [In other words and concisely put, the poet finds no contentment in whatever things he has in life; but, only with heaven’s love that makes him satisfied – and for that matter, he will not exchange his fate/destiny with royalties.]
Instruction #2: Look for formal, grammatical, and symbolic features that support and develop your main statement of the poem's meaning.
[Or] My micro-level contribution:
The sonneteer uses a 14-line fixed English rhyme scheme, which helped organized the poet’s message like in any other sonnets. The turn in the poem is at line 10, which very significantly matters because the poet changed his former direly overly bleak perspective in life into a blissful hopefulness. Not only is the cluster of rhyming end words bear meaning for my hypothesis, but also in that it is so arranged in interrelated manner that I feel overwhelmingly engrossed with the laconic substance and meaning of the poem. The writer uses many dominant symbols, similes or metaphors (e.g., Fortune, men’s eyes, lark, state, sweet love) that revealed his attitude towards his own fate or destiny. I do not find any conceits in the sonneteer. Further, the sonneteer uses various figures of speech or literary devices: personification (e.g., “deaf heaven”), allusion (e.g., “outcast state”), alliteration (please refer to Lines 13 and 14) and assonance (please see lines 1 and 2) and so forth to help reinforce his personal meaning of hope, satisfaction, love, inter alia. Moreover, I notice an unexpected break or shift in the tone of the writer in line 10 as he attempts to bring about a change in his outlook in life. The unusual word choice that the author used and struck me is the word “Fortune,” which means fate or destiny and not specifically only about affluence. An example of a part of speech that dominates the sonnet is the writer’s use of the word state in the beginning and latter part of his poem. Overall, I find the sonnet wonderfully crafted.
Frank, B. "Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 29’." The Explicator 64.3 (2006): 136-137. Web.
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