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"when your think your fooling them, their fooling you." - Uncivilbanks

A Review for Sonnet 130

  • Date Submitted: 11/28/2011 11:23 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.9 
  • Words: 350
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In Sonnet 130, William Shakespeare writes about his mistress and shows that he truly loves her. During Shakespeare’s time and before him, poets would write sonnets for women that they were infatuated with. They would describe them as almost being angel-like, comparing their hair to the sun, their lips to roses, and their skin to snow. However, Shakespeare took a different approach in Sonnet 130, describing his love quite distinctively. He uses personification to describe her hair: “black wires grow on her head".   He also added alliteration to the sonnet when he states that "I grant I never saw a goddess go…" , He also states that his mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun, that her skin is dull gray, that music has a better sound than her voice, and that she walks comically. Subsequent to his heavy use of similes to describe his mistress, his final couplet changes the meaning of the poem: “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare/ As any she belied with false compare.” It may be the most demeaning poem ever written to a woman, but the reader should see that the speaker is being honest, unlike other poets of the time. The last line shows the reader that the speaker loves his mistress, even though she can’t be compared too roses and angelic figures. This sonnet also shows how Shakespeare was criticizing other poets who wrote “false comparisons” about their loves.   The speaker describes the woman he loves in the most honest way possible, showing the reader his true opinion of her. This in turn, ironically, makes you respect the speaker even more. For he loves a woman that is not beautiful, yet loving her anyway for who she is. This is true love, and it may be the most demeaning poem ever written, but it is also the most loving and honest poem, even though it does have the flaw of criticizing someone you love, but it’s just part of what Shakespeare is trying to say: that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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