If you follow my Podcasts you know that a year ago I had a stroke andAbout two months ago I performed a one-man show entitled A PIECE OF MY MIND about my strokes and recovery I ended act one by performing Shakespeare’s sonnet 29 In my earlier podcast “brush up your Shakespeare” I offered a quick review on how to handle shakespeare’s language.
So here is sonnet 29 and the homework and preparation I did so I could perform it( after my heart surgery and strokes sonnet 29 was a touchstone for me, I kept going back to it to test my ability to read, speak and memorize, all things I was having trouble doing)
Sonnet 29: 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 myself like to one more rich in hope. featured like him,
like himwith friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope.
with what i most enjoyed contented least;
yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
haply i think on thee, then
(like to the lark at break of day arising from sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate,
for thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
that then I scorn to change my state with kings.
The first step is to look up the words I don’t know so I can paraphrase the sonnet and put it in my own words whichnsures that I know what I am saying. While I know the meaning of disgrace, I didn’t feel certain about it in the context in which it was used in the sonnet,here it turns out that it means fallen out of favor so my paraphrase of the first line is when I have fallen out of favor with god and men (fortune meaning luck or god.) now let’s look for vowel and consonant repetitions and the sound of the language. This helps me decide which words and syllables to emphasize. Remember to locate all the verbs these are the action words that you need to stress. Together let’s look at the sound of the words the first three syllables are gentle when in disgrace (whe,ih, dih). There is also the repetition of the consonant “n.” Careful of running When and in together so, you must articulate clearly and end one word before you start the next otherwise people will hear “whe nin disgrace.”