In Shakespeare's lovely Sonnet 29, the author uses the structure of an English sonnet (also known as an Elizabethan or a Shakespearean sonnet) to organize his ideas.
This kind of sonnet has a total of three quatrains (four-line stanzas) and ends with a rhyming couplet (the last two lines). In the first two quatrains, the speaker presents his initial response to life in general:
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,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least . . .
The speaker reflects on life—all alone he feels sorry for himself, an outcast. He calls out to heaven but feels that even God ignores him ("deaf heaven"). He looks in the mirror and curses his life—perhaps his job, his social status, etc., and spends time...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 807 words.)