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An interpretation of sonnet 33 a poem by william shakespeare

Full many a glorious morning have I seen Many times I have seen a glorious morning Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, Light up the mountain tops, Kissing with golden face the meadows green, Bathe the green meadows in golden rays of sunshine, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy; Color the streams with its heavenly magic; Anon permit the basest clouds to ride And then [the morning] allows the darkest clouds to ride With ugly rack on his celestial face, In a mass across the sun's face, And from the forlorn world his visage hide, And from this sorrowful world the sun hides, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace: Fleeing to the west unseen while the sky remains overcast; Even so my sun one early morn did shine Like this, my own sun one morning did shine With all triumphant splendor on my brow; With glorious splendour on my face; But out!

  • The excuse offered in the couplet may be unconvincing in the view of the next two Sonnets, but it is so plausible within the limits of this one that the quatrains seem to exist mainly to provide grounds for it" Landry, 58;
  • I really like the metaphor in this poem;
  • In Sonnets 33-35 the poet makes it clear that he has been deeply hurt by his young friend, who many believe to be the historical Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare's patron;
  • Wilson argues that you can trace the story of the young man's transgressions by reading the sonnets in this order;
  • The excuse offered in the couplet may be unconvincing in the view of the next two Sonnets, but it is so plausible within the limits of this one that the quatrains seem to exist mainly to provide grounds for it" Landry, 58.

The concealing clouds have masked him from me now. Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth; Yet love thinks no less of him for this; Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.

If the sun in heaven can be overcast, so can the suns in the world below. The sun here is compared to a king or queen - a monarch's eye is said to "flatter whatever it rests upon" Dover Wilson, 134.

  • The concealing clouds have masked him from me now;
  • E'en so my sun one early morn did shine With all triumphant splendor on my brow; But out, alack!

Between the time Shakespeare wrote Sonnet 32 and 33, the poet's entire attitude toward his relationship with his young friend had changed. While he had been focused on his own mortality throughout Sonnets 27-32, now the poet has a new and more pressing dilemma to jar him from his previous obsession.

In Sonnets 33-35 the poet makes it clear that he has been deeply hurt by his young friend, who many believe to be the historical Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare's patron.

We cannot say what specific wrong-doing prompted such displeasure, although we can assume that the young man had many interests other than the poet, and he may have surrounded himself with other friends and possibly other loversleaving the poet feeling isolated and unwanted.

The poet's dislike of his friend's actions are clear from the overall reading, but also from his choice of words: Even though he denies it in the concluding couplet, the poet seems to resent the friend for causing a rift in their relationship. As mentioned, the sonnet does end on a positive note with the poet ready to forgive his friend, content to accept that disappointment in this life is wholly natural.

Sonnet 33: Full many a glorious morning have I seen

The excuse offered in the couplet may be unconvincing in the view of the next two Sonnets, but it is so plausible within the limits of this one that the quatrains seem to exist mainly to provide grounds for it" Landry, 58.

Wilson argues that you can trace the story of the young man's transgressions by reading the sonnets in this order: How to cite this article: Shakespeare Online References Landry, Hilton. Interpretations in Shakespeare's Sonnets.

  • Sonnet 33 Full many a glorious morning have I seen Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, Kissing with golden face the meadows green, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy; Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rack on his celestial face, And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace;
  • In Sonnets 33-35 the poet makes it clear that he has been deeply hurt by his young friend, who many believe to be the historical Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare's patron;
  • Even though he denies it in the concluding couplet, the poet seems to resent the friend for causing a rift in their relationship;
  • Shakespeare Online References Landry, Hilton;
  • The first four lines are about the beautiful day; the second quatrain is about how the clouds have come in the afternoon and he's not seen the sun during the latter half of the day;
  • The excuse offered in the couplet may be unconvincing in the view of the next two Sonnets, but it is so plausible within the limits of this one that the quatrains seem to exist mainly to provide grounds for it" Landry, 58.

U of CP, 1964. A Life of Shakespeare.

  1. Thoughts on writing, reading, and poetry. It being Wednesday, it's time for some Shakespeare, and the loveliness outdoors put me in mind of the opening of his Sonnet 33, which begins on just such a glorious morning.
  2. E'en so my sun one early morn did shine With all triumphant splendor on my brow; But out, alack! Shakespeare Online References Landry, Hilton.
  3. The first four lines are about the beautiful day; the second quatrain is about how the clouds have come in the afternoon and he's not seen the sun during the latter half of the day.
  4. A Life of Shakespeare. The sun here is compared to a king or queen - a monarch's eye is said to "flatter whatever it rests upon" Dover Wilson, 134.
  5. It's not as simple as that, however, since Shakespeare was invoking the word "stain" in a somewhat unusual sense to describe the clouds in the sky - therefore, he was deliberately going for the word "stain" because he wanted the double meaning to exist in assessing what was going on with the Fair Youth.

The Works of Shakespeare. Poetical works, with a memoir.