ENGL 2270, Section D01
18 Mar. 2013
The Power of Love and Emotion in Romeo and Juliet
In William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29 [When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes] (1609.) the speaker is faced with the obstacles of being an outcast from society and is envious of other skills and opportunities. The speaker is going through violent emotions throughout the sonnet, but in the last quatrain and couplet of the sonnet he realizes there is an abundance of things to hope for and there is love in his life and the speaker remembers love is more powerful than any hardship he is being faced with. Sonnet 29 could be placed in Romeo and Juliet (1595), in Act III scene III, after line 169, Romeo says the sonnet to the Nurse and Friar Lawrence to show the many emotions Romeo is going through and how the forcefulness of Romeo and Juliet’s love can bring hope and happiness to any obstacle.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy about love, and the theme of love is consistent throughout the entire play, placing Sonnet 29 into the dialogue of Act III Scene III shows that in despair love can bring hope, especially in Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. Sonnet 29 would fit into the scene where Romeo where has just killed Tybalt and although the Prince has not sentenced him to death, he is banished from Verona. Romeo says that death would be a better punishment than not being able to see Juliet, Romeo is distraught and he seeks counsel from Friar Lawrence, but Romeo is acting as a “madman” (III.III.52) because of his many emotions. While waiting at the Friar’s cell, he is feeling disgraceful and foolish for killing Tybalt. He killed him because Tybalt killed Mercutio; he did this out of rage and anger. Romeo would then recite the first quatrain of sonnet 29, When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heav'n with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate, (1-4)
Romeo feels alone and...