There Goes the Sun: An Analysis of Shakespeare's 33rd Sonnet

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There Goes the Sun: An analysis of Shakespeare's 33rd Sonnet Who doesn’t love a bright summer morning? Sadly, even the greatest days are cloaked in stifling clouds. William Shakespeare, in his “Full Many a Glorious Morning Have I Seen”, connects both types of days to something much greater. Through the extended metaphor of the sun, he discusses a man's wonder and impassivity towards life. Like one’s childhood, the poem begins with pure joy. Shakespeare begins the poem with “Full many a glorious morning have I seen / Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye.”(1-2) On a surface reading, the poet is saying how wonderful the day is. This can be extended to a early life, too. When a child is young, he holds everything in awe. Every sight is a first, from a cooing mother to a glorious mountain. In most cases, nothing spoils the pure bliss of the awareness. Shakespeare then quickly switches from the mindless joy of a toddler to the happiness and excitement of growing up. The third line is already “Kissing with golden face the meadows green,”(3) normally yet another piece of imagery. It should be noted, however, that kissing is an intimate act. People first kiss their parents in an expression of familial love, and then their lovers in romantic expression. From this, The Bard connects his imagery to the blossoming of a person’s love and (eventually) lust. After this, he writes “Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchymy [sic];” (4) Gilding is an art and a trade, and alchemy was a highly intellectual and spiritual activity. It becomes apparent that here the children are experiencing intellectual development. They begin to dissect and alter the world, hence the comparison to alchemy. Furthermore, children learn to both use their im... ... middle of paper ... ...e consciousness of the apathetic, it becomes apparent that many people do not truly realize what state they live in. They actively shun the wonder of the world while at the same time glorifying it. As mentioned previously, this is perhaps the ultimate destructive act. One blinds oneself to danger while consciously trotting upon its path yet simultaneously pronouncing safety as the ideal state of man. Except in this case it is inversed: people denounce empty safety while stepping towards it and away from reality. Shakespeare wrote “Full Many a Glorious Morning I Have Seen” as a beautiful and imageric poem, yet it also acts as a veiled metaphor for life. Most people begin wrapped in wondrous bliss, but fall apathetic to the glorious world around them. Through such a path many civilizations- Greek, Roman, Ottoman- have collapsed. One must pray it does not happen now.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how shakespeare's "full many a glorious morning have i seen" connects both types of days to something much greater.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare switches from the mindless joy of a toddler to the happiness and excitement of growing up.
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