Sonnet 29: When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes

With Valentine’s Day still nearing, we turn again to a sonnet on love. This week, we chose Sonnet 29: Shakespeare’s reflection on love’s nature to heal and soothe those in its grip.

As you read through this sonnet, we ask you to consider whether you agree love can be as healing as Shakespeare describes here. If so, do you find there is a specific form of love that is more inclined towards such healing? Lastly, do you find that such an opportunity for healing naturally occurs in a relationship of love, or do you think it must be actively encouraged? We look forward to your thoughts.

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,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
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,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.


28 Comments on “Sonnet 29: When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”

  1. Melven Lundien

    I think a certain type of love like consulting can be found in a relationship. I believe this because in a relationship, the man and woman argue about things and when they want to have an understanding with each other, they compromise or allow the other opinion and that in my opinion is a type of “healing” in a relationship.

  2. Jamie Spoonnoggle

    I think that love can be healing. I think true love leads to healing. I think this kind of healing isn’t just given and that it has to be gradually gained. True love shouldn’t change you unless it’s for the better.

  3. Bobbi Black

    I agree very much with this sonnet. Love can make a man with no emotions cry his eyes out at the thought of loosing his loved one, this sonnet was showing that a man who didn’t know what love was got to feel that state of euphoria and it changed him. Being loved in general can heal anyone even if it doesn’t seem to, I feel any love can heal. I feel the best way to heal someone is naturally not forceful.

  4. Stephen

    I disagree I don’t believe there is such thing as true love ;therefore, love cannot heal a person. Love is a lie we tell ourselves but in reality you’ll eventually grow tired of your significant other so no love isn’t real so it cannot heal

  5. Travon Johnson

    I believe that only true love can heal and that if the love is really real then it can heal with the time preaented. Love is very powerful it can do a lot of things

  6. William Vidallon

    i very much disagree , i think there is no such thing as true love . Love to me is a over used term and i think way too many people don’t really know what exactly they’re saying . Therefore , love cannot magically heal someone . Medicine is how you heal someone not love and has always been that .

  7. Noah Boone

    I believe love can be healing. The specific form of love that helps with healing is unconditional love where you accept the person for who they are, even if they are not perfect. I feel that love is encouraged. A lot of people have their guard up because they have been hurt before and are afraid. You need to get them to trust you and let them know that you won’t intentionally hurt them.

  8. Ricardo richards

    I like this sennet it’s basically about love and how strong love can be . unconditional love . I think real true love hurts but it heals and powerful.

  9. Ronnie B.

    I think that even though people can be genuinely happier with a true love, it cannot be so much considered as healing. Therefore, I disagree that true love is healing.

  10. Anna Humes

    Love is a very powerful emotion/ feeling. Love, if it is with the right person can contain such “healing”. To have that healing there is compromise. Depending on the “disgrace” depends on if in a “mans eyes” will ever see you the same again. Obviously, if she is now “beweeping her outcast state” she obviously feels upset about what she had done. If she had no feelings towards him she would not feel remorse towards whatever had been done.

  11. David Taylor

    As I was reading this sonnet, it almost sounded like jealousy and pride at first. Then along the way it meant that friendship is a strong love and forgiveness and trust are the main ingredients to love and friendship.

  12. Jessica Moore

    I feel that this sonnet is about depression that Shakespeare is feeling in that very moment but also love because love can be so powerful

  13. Sharrell Cuffee

    I think true love is healing because if you love someone enough it should be able to help heal you through tough times in life. True love isn’t just something you get all of a sudden, it’s something has to gain over time.

  14. Czarina Ferrera

    I agree that love can be healing. I believe in some ways it does because when your sad or hurt, you know who turn to make you happy again and your true love listen and there to take care of you. Love make everything else don’t matter anymore, and love can heal a wounded soul.

  15. Malcolm Napier

    I agree because there is two ways to love a person…you can love them or you can be in love with them. I feel like when your in love with them you won’t leave them or stop thinking about them no matter how hard the situation is and if you love them it can quickly wore out.

  16. Andrew Byl

    I think love can heal someone but it’s also risky as you can just get even more hurt. But I do agree I think with the right person true love can come and would make you a happier person and could heal you.

  17. Bridget

    I believe love is a powerful word and it can heal the bad things ! I think in this sonnet the poet is feeling unlucky,shamed,jealous of those who he is next to.

  18. Kobe Cura

    I disagree, i dont believe that there is such this as a true love, love cant heal. Only time and getting over it can heal.

  19. Quest Williams

    This sonnet shows that anyone can be healed by love , if your broken love can heal you and reimburse your happiness. It can change the way you act towards different people as in letting your guard down in order to let someone else in

  20. Quest Williams

    In this sonnet it is stating the fact that love can be a form of healing whether it’s meant to be or not it can change a person it gives the power of them to let down a wall in order to let someone in

  21. cybal stephenson

    I believe this means he I having bad luck or the public has a bad out look on him. I realized he is basically depressed and doesn’t know what to do.

  22. Jeremy Worcester

    The speaker is depressed and sees little value in his life, says that the general public and even god ignores him but he says love brings him emotional wealth and he wouldn’t trade that for all the money and power in the world

  23. James Dublin

    I agree with Jordan’s comment and a few others that the sonnet is about a man who is happy for his friend but also simultaneously sad because his friend and the love of his life are in love. He explains that he is happy but sad when he realizes how alone he is.

  24. Rashaun capers

    In my opinion i dont believe there is a such thing as true love , and love can not heal. i feel as love should be naturally encouraging in a relationship

  25. Tanner Keiper

    I don’t think love can be as healing as stated by Shakespeare, as to me, love is a connection between two people rather than something that heals you. With that being said, although it cant heal you physically, I believe that love can in some way “heal” a persons heart/physiological health by making them happier. Lastly, I don’t think that this happens in every relationship, it does have to be actively encouraged to be useful.

  26. Callie Marcum

    I posted to edmodo a few days ago but i dont think you saw it.

    I think true love can help anyone heal and can lead them in the right direction. This sonnet is realistic because it shows that no matter what something can heal you and in this case its love. Sometimes love happens when it is the right time.

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