How does love aid people in Sonnet 29?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sonnet 29, "When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" by William Shakespeare, is narrated in the first person singular and thus describes the experience of a single person, not of people in general. The sonnet consists of an octave describing the ways in which the narrator is unhappy with his external circumstances and a sestet. In the octave the narrator describes himself as lacking the respect of others, enduring bad fortune, and envying the circumstances and abilities of other people.

After the octave is a Petrarchan-style turn, in which the narrator reflects upon his beloved:

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;

In other words, when thinking about how happy he is in his relationship, the narrator forgets about all of his other troubles and is so happy that he would not even change places with a king. Thus love aids the narrator by making him happy even when other external circumstances are less than ideal.