Sunday, July 13, 2008

Haply, I Think On Thee

First, I have to apologize for missing yesterday's Quote of the Day, but I'm sure the few supportive and overall awesome peeps that actually read this will forgive me. Seriously though, arguing with one's mother all weekend takes alot of time and energy. Good thing she adores me enough to make up for it with clothes and dinner, which also results in a certain fuzzy feelings in me towards her as well. I'm sure it's all instinct, though. But again, I digress away from my topic. As promised, the Quote of the Day:

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;
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 rememb'red such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Time for a Shakespeare lesson, children. It's a common misconception that Shakespeare's sonnets are a collection of wonderfully optimistic love poems, but they are actually very insightful, open and at times, even dark contemplations of the human condition. What does it mean to be human, Shakespeare seems to ask in all his writings. You could take 10 zillion classes on The Bard and never reach an ending to the meanings of his writings. So as not to torture my few readers too much with this lesson, I am not going to break Sonnet 29 down, but also because it would take WAY too much time and I have very important places to be (like the cinema, watching that huge, red devil kick monster ass, as referenced in an older post). But note Shakespeare's use of the word "Yet" in beginning line 9. This means a change is coming. The first part of the poem is all about depression and self-pity and envy for other men's skills and possessions. But with the word "Yet", everything changes. He "haply", which by the way, means "by chance", remembers someone (depending on who you are, this someone is either Gwyneth Paltrow or some 15 year old boy) that reminds him of what he does possess and then remembering that, he would rather be in his own state, whether poor or lonely, than have all that a king possesses. Wow, that has GOT to be a run-on sentence, no? There is irony and humor here that I could go into, but won't. Again, trying to be kind to the readers.

So, according to Shakespeare, what does it mean to be human? Discuss amongst yourselves and have a great Sunday.

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