A Short Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 27: ‘Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed’

A reading of Shakespeare’s 27th sonnet

Every sonnet sequence should have at least one poem about sleeplessness. Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86) had ‘Come sleep, O sleep, the certain knot of peace’ in his Astrophil and Stella, and, in Sonnet 27 beginning ‘Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed’, Shakespeare has his sleepless poem, which we’re going to analyse here.

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:
For then my thoughts–from far where I abide–
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous, and…

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