William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 130 Essay

1600 Words Dec 16th, 2015 7 Pages
During Shakespeare’s era, men expressed their love for women through writing love sonnets for them, a famous one being Francesco Petrarca, aka Petrarch. In his 292th sonnet, his lover is described with, “the waving hair of unmixed gold that shone,/the smile that flashed with the angelic rays” (5-6). He continues to list her beautiful qualities and his love for her can be clearly felt throughout the sonnet, similar to other love sonnets written at the time, no matter the author. However, in Shakespeare 's sonnet 130, it seems as though he does not believe his mistress is beautiful, as he does the opposite: listing his mistress’ unattractive qualities. But, the true meaning of the sonnet is revealed through the couplet. In Sonnet 130, Shakespeare utilizes similes, metaphors, strong imagery, and parodies other love sonnets to ridicule the traditional method of poets expressing their love, asserting that the poetic clichés of comparing women to nature are unrealistic and superficial, and rather, true love is about more than physical appearances and true beauty is more important than any other in the world.
In the first quatrain, Shakespeare uses similes, metaphors, and imagery to mock the customary expression of love for poets at the time. The sonnet begins with a reverse simile, “My mistress ' eyes are nothing like the sun” (1). The eyes of the mistress are compared with the sun, but they “are nothing” like them. The sun is important for and in all life on earth, and therefore,…

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