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Love Through the Ages

12. Shakespeare: Sonnets 29 and 144

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About this Lecture


In this module, we look in more depth at two more of Shakespeare’s sonnets: Sonnet 29 (‘When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes’) and Sonnet 144 (‘Two loves I have of comfort and despair’). In Sonnet 29, we explore the idea that love is one of the most basic human needs, and that it is better to be in love than to be a king. In Sonnet 144, we explore the uncertainties of love.


This course explores the theme of love from the earliest English literature to the present day – from authors that you have likely heard of, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Byron and Keats, to authors that are perhaps less well-known. This is a course that celebrates love in all it forms and between all kinds of people.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Love Through the Ages - Shakespeare: Sonnets 29 and 144 [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Love Through the Ages – Shakespeare: Sonnets 29 and 144." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,