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'Sonnet 130' vs 'to His Coy Mistress'

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:23 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.7 
  • Words: 1859
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Compare and contrast ‘Sonnet 130’ by William Shakespeare and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell. How do these poem’s show the poet’s view on love?

William Shakespeare was born to John Shakespeare and mother Mary Arden in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare was recognised as a successful actor, playwright and poet. He wrote many magnificent plays. These of which included; “Macbeth”, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Shakespeare was also highly recognised as a successful Sonneteer. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets in total before his death in 1616. An example of one of Shakespeare’s sonnet is titled “ My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun.”

In “My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun” Shakespeare creates an easy flowing and enjoyable read, displaying his superiority in the art of poetry.

In sonnet 130, Shakespeare goes against all conventional terms used by Petrachan sonneteers. Instead of comparing his Mistress to usual love cliché, of his time period, he breaks free from them and portrays his mistress’ in a realistic way. By opening his sonnet with the line ‘My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing like the Sun’ the reader feels shocked and wanting to read on.


The tone of “My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun”, is one of realism and contentment. Shakespeare realises that love is full of imperfections therefore giving us a realistic view of his Mistress. He realises that she is far from perfect but that does not take away from his love for her. Although Shakespeare talks about all of his mistress’ shortcomings, he sounds satisfied with their love for each other.


Shakespeare uses iambic pentameter in this sonnet, a term that refers to lines of unrhymed poetry each of which has five stressed syllables. This form gives the poem a beautiful rhythm, similar to all of Shakespeare’s masterpieces. It has three quatrains and one rhyming couplet. The rhyme scheme is...


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