Pre-1914 Poetry William Shakespeare (1562-1616) Sonnet 29, and Sonnet 130.

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Regina Forrester                                                        4thNovember, 2002


Pre-1914 Poetry

William Shakespeare (1562-1616)



Compare and contrast Shakespeare’s attitude to his mistress in these two sonnets

“Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?”


                                                     Much A Do 5.2

“It is the east, and Juliet is the sun”


                        Romeo and Juliet 2.2

Shakespeare is renowned not only for his ability in writing plays, but also for his talent in writing sonnets. Shakespeare wrote over one hundred and fifty sonnets, most of which concern love and affection. In this essay, we will be looking at two of his famous sonnets, Sonnet 29 and Sonnet 130.  Shakespeare’s description in Sonnet 29 gives us a clear insight of what people expected to read in the sixteenth century. However, Sonnet 130 counteracts Sonnet 29 by subverting convention. We will be looking at their similarities and differences.

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In Sonnet 29, Shakespeare is expressing his admiration of a loved one. The sonnet reflects on the poet’s insecurities (“I all alone between my outcast state”); this illustrates his state of self-pity. As we read on further through the poem (“And look upon myself and curse my fate”) we can comprehend that this poet is almost self-loathing. He feels envious (“like him with friends possessed”); and, as we draw nearer to the octave (“With what I most enjoy contended least”) we gain knowledge of his discontentment in life that has influenced him to think this about himself. As ...

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