Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29: A Glorification of Love

In reading poems such as Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29, the perception that poetry has the ability to provoke emotions is undeniable. Sonnet 29 is a poem about the speaker’s staged descent and ascent from compounded feelings of dejection and self-pity to the highest feeling of exhilaration. This transformation is evident in the speaker’s expression of disconsolation, jealousy and self-loathe that shifted to a feeling of bliss and euphoria at the mere thought of a loved one-a movement that changed his mindset and gave him a sense of fulfillment.

The sense of fulfillment achieved is in stark contrast with the hopelessness he felt that caused him profound misery. This feeling is plain in the first three lines of the sonnet; wherein, the speaker expresses feelings of dejection and condemnation. The use of words such as “beweep” and “cries” deepens this sentiment and suggests that he is in great pain and is inconsolable. It proposes despair, which is almost tangible that it extends an intense feeling of sorrow to the readers. The rejection the speaker felt is also very overwhelming that it conveyed his crushed spirits.

As if his spirits were not crushed enough, his strong emotions plunged into a deeper lack of hope-the speaker indulges in self-pity and envy, which resulted in vain. It caused bitterness and the desire to gain that, which is unattainable-others’ good looks, popularity, skills and purpose. With these mired feelings compounded, the speaker finds discontentment and was pushed to the verge of despising himself. Then, a memory of a loved one advances and, like a bird soaring from the ground to the skies, his spirits were raised and his notion has changed. This thought bestowed a sense of fulfillment, a sense of rescue and of exaltation, which is really an amazing transformation from the dour state he was in-a state he took his readers to and from.

The condition and feelings expressed in this poem provide undeniable roused emotions-emotions so intense that it extends feelings of sorrow and joy to the readers. It shifted from one negative emotion to another then rose to the opposing feeling of rapture. And, although this feeling is just a change of perception and not of the situation, it gave the speaker extreme delight that he “…scorn to change… state with kings.” The abstract concept of love is glorified in this poem: it conveys that, when all things fail, love will come to the rescue.

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