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Sonnet 30 by William Shakespeare has,at first sight, a generally melancholy air running through it. The sonnet speaks of loss and sorrow and has a mood of nostalgia for past things, people and experiences. But Shakespeare's sonnet is bittersweet, because as the sorrowful outpouring continues, we see there is, thankfully, some comfort for the writer - a crumb of comfort to make up for all that he has lost. Friendship is a precious gift and he acknowledges the sweetness of that as the sonnet ends.
The sonnet has a thoughtful, contemplative mood rather than a bitter and angry feel. The discontentedness of the writer is rueful rather than full of rage. He bemoans all the time he wasted chasing after things which now seem trivial and the expense to himself both in terms of time and emotion. He seems to wish he had not spent so much energy on them and feels it wasn't a good investment. Then he weighs all this up against what he still has left - good things and happy memories - and decides that after all, most of his life balances out and we get a feeling of things being evaluated, and on balance, the poet's life has been good. He feels glad to have known his friends and loved ones and that the experience of that was valuable. The sonnet is punctuated with spaces, sighs and breaths but at the end one imagines a smile.
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