In the Sonnet 29 by Shakespeare, does the speaker pity himself over lack of skill as an artist or contentment?
Here is the "Sonnet 29" by Shakespeare. > 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 me like to one more rich > in hope, Featured like him, like him with friends possessed, > Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, With what I most > enjoy contented least. Yet in these thoughts myself almost > despising, Haply I think on thee, and then my state, 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 book *SAT II Success: Literature* which I use to prepare for the SAT exam (a multiple-choice test for high school students in the US) asks the following question about the sonnet: > In lines 4 through 7, the speaker explains that he envies all of the > following aspects of others EXCEPT > > (A) hopefulness. (B) having many friends. (C) skill as an artist. (D) > a handsome appearance. (E) contentment. In my opinion, choices A, B, and D are definitely present (in phrases "[w]ishing me like to one more rich in hope," "like him with friends possessed," and "[f]eatured like him," respectively). I also thought that the choice C had been present in the poem in the phrase "[d]esiring this man’s art." This would leave only choice E, contentment. However, the book says otherwise. Here is an explanation for this question: > **The correct answer is (C).** This question is best approached by eliminating all the right answers. Check each phrase to see if it is > in the quatrain: hopefulness = “rich in hope,” choice (A); many > friends = “like him with friends possessed,” choice (B); handsome > appearance = “featured like him,” choice (D); and intellectual ability > = “that man’s scope,” choice (E). The phrase that is not in the quatrain is choice (C), skill as an artist, which is the correct > response. I've checked the analysis of the sonnet on multiple websites, and they had different explanations for the word "scope" in the poem, including "freedom" and "opportunity." However, I see how "scope" can mean intellectual ability: wide range of one's knowledge. Even so, the book indicates "contentment" in the answer choice E and "intellectual ability" in the answer choice E explanation. I personally cannot see how these can be one and the same thing. According to the Internet definition: > Contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction. Then, this is not connected to one's intellectual abilities. Could you help me see how the answer choice C can be correct? I can't be sure if it is some kind of mistake in a book which is why I want to make sure I don't miss or don't understand something. So if there any details that would make choice C sound correct (or "more correct"), please share.