Poetic Devices In Sonnet 130 By Shakespeare

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It could be suggested that through the verse form of the sonnet, alongside poetic devices, a poem can generate meaning. In Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, it can be argued the sonnet form, with its subconcious expectations of formal conventions, and the usual notion of a sonnet being concerned with love is adhered to. However, in other ways Shakespeare breaks this and subverts these usual notions through the use of contradictions and paradoxical statements. This links to the idea that Shakespeare embraces the use of poetic devices, such as rhyme in order to convey a different message in this Sonnet, compared to the typical form.

Shakespeare presents Sonnet 130 as an archetype in the structual form of the Sonnet. In some regards, Sonnet 130 conforms
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This is seen clearly through the use of poetic devices, a key example being the first line, which subverts the readers expectations from the outset. Shakespeare writes “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”, this directly contrasts to the image usually conjured up of the feminine mystique within a Sonnet. The use of similie’s is continued throughout, with the narrator continually bringing up the negative aspects of the woman, “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;”. This juxtaposed image consolidates the view of Shakespeare taking usual Sonnet attributes and ridiculing them since it suggests a disregard for the genre, and reveals to the reader a focus on the technical form of the poem, without the usual content. Although, it is key to note despite this tone of seeming discompassion, it is effectively negation since the narrator still thinks about her. Alongside this, Shakespeare reveals to the reader the removal of idealisation through rhyme, the term ‘idealisation’ refers to viewing or representing an object or person as perfect or better than in reality. Shakespeare instead shows a more realistic depiction of the woman in this Sonnet. The alternating rhyme throughout the Sonnet builds up the momentum to the final rhyming couplet, this build of momentum suggests the disregard felt by the narrator towards the object of his affection. In this way, the decision by Shakespeare to stick to the usual Sonnet form but having contrasting content makes the message of the Sonnet more substantial, since the reader would approach the poem expecting one thing but receive an almost entirely opposite message. In this case, the Sonnet, although it depicts love, it reveals love in an ordinary manner, which effectively contradicts to the prior notion the reader would have of the Sonnet being largely to present an idealised

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