The feeling of being loved is probably the headiest ego massage of them all! Indeed, there is no experience quite like being loved to the extent that one has the power to make someone forget almost everything else in life. Viewed from this perspective, it would appear that the man portrayed by William Shakespeare in his Sonnet #29, “When in disgrace with Fortune and mens eyes,” would be a more exciting lifetime partner than the man characterized in Sonnet #130, “My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun.” However, I believe that love alone is not enough to meet lifes challenges, which requires strength of character, maturity, and a willingness to shoulder responsibility. Therefore, I believe that the man in Sonnet #130 would be a better lifetime partner since it is evident that he is mature and wise enough to recognize that love for another should not be based on deceptive romantic images or flattery.
In Sonnet #29, Shakespeares speaker describes his anguished state of mind over his current decline in fortunes but then goes on to wax eloquent about how just the memory of his loved one has the power to uplift his mood. As he says, “Haply I think on thee, and then my state / Like to the lark at break of day arising / From sullen earth, sings hymns at heavens gate.” The speakers dramatic reversal of mood is made all the more significant in the light of his earlier confessed envy of people who he feels have been blessed with good looks, friends, talent, and intellect.
Indeed, he sums up his lonely, tormented frame of mind by stating that he despises himself because he is not even contented with what he enjoys the most. Yet, his memories of his love have such power that he concludes by saying that he would not change his “state even with a king. Thus, Sonnet #29 is a poem about the power that love has to comfort even the most depressed of souls.
A man who values a womans love above everything else in his life is perhaps the stuff that womens dreams are made of. Shakespeares characterization of the speaker in Sonnet #29 is representative of exactly such a man. To that extent, it is most tempting to choose him as the better lifetime partner. However, on deeper reflection, it would seem that there is ample reason to doubt the strength of character of a man who seems to blame the heavens and fate for his misfortune with no attempt to introspect about his role, if any, in bringing about such a state of affairs. Even presuming that it was pure bad luck that led the speaker into being “disgraced with Fortune and mens eyes,” I would imagine that someone with strength and maturity would determine as to how he could overcome his current set of adverse circumstances and emerge the.