Despite popular belief, William Shakespeare was considered an accomplished poet before his popularity as a playwright. During his life in the twelfth century, he wrote over 150 sonnets. A sonnet was a type of poem used by several poets during the Renaissance period. Sonnets had so much appeal for several reasons. The meter of the poem, iambic pentameter, made it flow well when read aloud. Iambic pentameter is a series of five metrical feet. Each foot has a stressed followed by an unstressed syllable, know as an iamb. A sonnet contains fourteen lines and follows many other strict structural guidelines. One of Shakespeare’s better known sonnets is Sonnet 29. Even though the sonnet is actually only one very long sentence, it still follows all the specifications of the sonnet form. Writing his poetry in sonnet form helped Shakespeare exemplify the thoughts and themes of the work.
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Like numerous other Shakespeare sonnets, the importance of love is demonstrated. But in this sonnet, human love results in a sense of self-love. Sonnets typically are composed of three four-line sections, quatrains, and a two line section called a couplet, at the end. Shakespeare uses this structure to arrive at the theme. The first two quatrains depict the narrator’s feelings. The narrator is experiencing internal conflict. He feels that he is an outcast and often weeps about his state. He even asks God for help in line 3, ” and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,” but even God does not answer his pleas. The narrator also says that he does not have what he wants the most, in line 8. He wishes that he could be like the men who have good looks, .
hope, money and friends. The resolution to the narrator’s conflict starts in the third quatrain. The narrator reminds himself that while he is “despising” himself, there is someone who he can think of who loves him. When he thinks of this person, he becomes happy and feels like a “lark that rises at daybreak to sing hymns at heaven’s gate.