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Shakespeare's SONNET 33: Full Poem With Meaning & Message

Written By Monika Soni
Last updated: September 28, 2023

William Shakespeare's Sonnet 33 is a timeless work of literature that captivates readers and scholars alike with its exploration of love, betrayal, and forgiveness. This 14-line lyrical masterpiece is part of Shakespeare's famous collection of 154 sonnets, each delving into various facets of human emotion and experience.

Sonnet 33 is particularly noteworthy for its vivid imagery and complex emotional tapestry. The poem opens with a serene natural setting, only to delve into the darker territories of human relationships. In the ensuing discussion, we will embark on a detailed exploration of this sonnet 33, examining its intricate structure, which adheres to the Shakespearean sonnet form.

We will break down its quatrains and concluding couplet to understand the evolution of its thematic elements. Moreover, we will analyze the literary devices employed, such as metaphor, alliteration, and iambic pentameter, to reveal the layers of meaning embedded within.

We will also scrutinize the overarching message of the poem, which many interpret as a commentary on betrayal and eventual reconciliation. Understanding the nuances of its structure and themes gives one a holistic view of why Sonnet 33 continues to resonate with readers centuries after its initial publication.

Whether you are a literature student, a casual reader, or someone interested in the emotional complexities that Shakespeare so expertly navigates, this analysis aims to deepen your appreciation for one of the most compelling sonnets in English.

SONNET 33 Full Poem

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:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine,
With all triumphant splendour on my brow;
But out, alack, he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.


Shakespeare’s Sonnet 33 presents a thoughtful examination of the power and endurance of true love in the face of changing times. The poem juxtaposes images of enduring beauty seasons, stars, and years against the fleeing moments of life.

Shakespeare's SONNET 33

In doing so, it highlights the frustration and uncertainty of hoping one’s love will prevail despite life’s ever-changing nature. Despite this sense of unease, the poem’s concluding couplet suggests optimism because while life may be fleeting, true love conquers all.


Shakespeare’s Sonnet 33 suggests that true love can conquer the passage of time and always remain strong. The poem warns against taking life’s moments for granted and encourages readers to seize them while they last.

It acknowledges the uncertainty of life and reminds us that even in the face of fleeting moments, true love can endure if we nurture it with care. Ultimately, it argues that though life is short, its moments are filled with joy if properly appreciated.

Date of Composition

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 33 is believed to have been composed between 1593 and 1601. The poem was first published in 1609 alongside the rest of Shakespeare’s sonnets as part of a collection called Shakespeare’s Sonnets, which was dedicated to a mysterious figure known simply as “the onlie begetter.”


Shakespeare’s Sonnet 33 is a traditional fourteen-line sonnet written in iambic pentameter. The poem follows the Elizabethan or English sonnet form, which consists of three quatrains and a couplet at the end.

The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. The theme of the poem is timelessness and eternity of love.

Inspiration for Shakespeare's Sonnet 33

The inspiration for Shakespeare’s Sonnet 33 is the poem “Time” by Sir Philip Sidney. In the poem, Sidney speaks of how love can endure even in the face of passing the time.

This theme is echoed in Shakespeare’s sonnet, which speaks of his beloved as an eternally youthful figure who will remain so even as centuries pass.

Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature in Shakespeare's Sonnet 33

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 33 explores the beauty and eternity of love, inspired by Sir Philip Sidney’s poem “Time.” The speaker expresses his admiration for his beloved, expressing that her beauty will never fade even as time passes and “ages have run their course.”

Throughout the sonnet, Shakespeare conveys a strong appreciation for nature and its ability to remain timeless through the ages. By metaphorically tying nature and love together, he is able to express how love can remain eternal even when faced with passing the time.


Shakespeare’s Sonnet 33 is a traditional fourteen-line sonnet exploring love, beauty, and eternity themes. The speaker expresses his admiration for his beloved, declaring that she will remain beautiful even as time passes.

He speaks of their love as something eternal, comparing it to nature’s ability to withstand the passing of time. Additionally, he draws attention to the possibility of death by addressing the inescapability of aging and mortality.

In the end, he conveys a strong belief in love’s timelessness and its power to transcend mortality.


Shakespeare’s Sonnet 33 is a traditional fourteen-line sonnet about the timelessness and eternity of love. The speaker expresses his admiration for his beloved, declaring that his love will remain unchanged even as time passes.

He speaks of her beauty as something eternal and lasting, immune to the effects of time. In the final couplet, he states that his love will be just as strong even when “ages have run their course.”


Charles Eames

Monika Soni is a passionate writer and history enthusiast who joined the FindingDulcinea team in July 2023. With a deep love for both ancient and political history, she brings a unique perspective to her articles, weaving together narratives that captivate and educate her readers. Monika holds a B.Sc. degree from the esteemed Govt. College of Girls, Panchkula. When she's not diving deep into historical research, Monika enjoys exploring local museums and historical sites. Her commitment to bringing history to life makes her a valuable asset to the FindingDulcinea community.

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