Despite the negative connotations of his mistress, Shakespeare speaks a true woman and true love. Here, Barbara Mowat offers her opinion of the meaning behind Sonnet 130; this work breaks the mold to which Sonnets had come to conform. Since this sonnet is a love poem about his mistress, Shakespeare chose the everyday colors of nature that he sees to identify his. In the final couplet, the speaker proclaims his love for his mistress by declaring that he makes no false comparisons, the implication being that other poets do precisely that. Notes dun 3 : i. Petrarch, the first modern scholar and man of letters. Together they raised two daughters: Susanna, who was born in 1583, and Judith whose twin brother died in boyhood , born in 1585.
The theme of this poem is to reflect and understand true love; true love is loving one another's imperfections. Shakespeare's sonnets were composed between 1593 and 1601, though not published until 1609. Its message is simple: the dark lady's beauty cannot be compared to the beauty of a goddess or to that found in nature, for she is but a mortal human being. He is widely regarded as the greatest English writer of all time, and wrote 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and 38 plays, though recently another play has been found and attributed to William Shakespeare. Even though the speaker has just brought attention to the many shortcomings of his love, he not only loves her, but he loves her and thinks more highly of her than any woman who has ever been described favorably by the previously mentioned qualities.
These are usually divided into four categories: histories, comedies, tragedies, and romances. Writing the poem in iambic pentameter gives rhythm to the poem and helps it flow smoothly. At eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, a woman seven or eight years his senior. As he continues to write, he admits that he has never seen a goddess go, but his mistress walks on the ground. Coral is much redder than the red of her lips. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound: I grant I never saw a goddess go, My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare. She is simply not the perfect, unattainable image we see in other sonnets.
The dark lady, who ultimately betrays the poet, appears in sonnets 127 to 154. Lesson Summary It is refreshing to read Sonnet 130 because it avoids the unrealistic, syrupy sentiments that may be found in many other sonnets. Although the word mistress now refers to a sweetheart or a woman who lives with… 972 Words 4 Pages I supposed the sun caught my eye just right. The word paint is cleverly used. If hairs are like wires, hers are black and not golden.
The first two quatrains compare the speaker's mistress to aspects of nature, such as snow or coral; each comparison ending unflatteringly for the mistress. The poetic speaker, rather than elevate her, brings her further down to earth. It is also one of the few of Shakespeare's sonnets with a distinctly humorous tone. Most sonnets, including others written by Shakespeare, praised women and practically deified them. GradeSaver, 19 October 2005 Web. If you compare the stanzas of Astrophel and Stella to Sonnet 130, you will see exactly what elements of the conventional love sonnet Shakespeare is light-heartedly mocking. It was customary to praise the beauty of the object of one's affections with comparisons to beautiful things found in nature and heaven, such as stars in the night sky, the golden light of the rising sun, or red roses.
Shakespeare may have taught at school during this period, but it seems more probable that shortly after 1585 he went to London to begin his apprenticeship as an actor. During that period, Shakespeare probably had some income from his patron, Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton, to whom he dedicated his first two poems, Venus and Adonis 1593 and The Rape of Lucrece 1594. It is indeed this blunt but charming sincerity that has made sonnet 130 one of the most famous in the sequence. Shakespeare's Sonnets, Edited with Analytic Commentary. The difference between the Fair Youth and the Dark Lady sonnets is not merely in address, but also in tone: while the Fair Youth sequence use mostly romantic and tender words, the Dark Lady sonnets are characterized by their overt references to sex and bawdiness. Be that as it may, the 'Chandos ' portrait, for various reasons, more than justifies its being kept in the custody of the nation as a very rare and valuable relic of its greatest dramatist. While others claim that he was not making any statements about her looks, but instead being realistic.
In Sonnet 130, the speaker describes the woman that he loves in extremely unflattering terms but claims that he truly loves her, which lends credibility to his claim because even though he does not find her attractive, he still declares his love for her. But Shakespeare ends the sonnet by proclaiming his love for his mistress despite her lack of adornment, so he does finally embrace the fundamental theme in Petrarch's sonnets: total and consuming love. This poem explains the imperfections and even flaws of the writer's love. What did it have to do with me? At the end of the poem, we realize that the speaker's love is not really unattractive. I admit I never saw a goddess walk; when my mistress walks, she treads on the ground. My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lip's red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun, If hair be wires, black wires grow on her head. Her eyes do not shine, her lips are not red, her breasts are not white, her cheeks are pale, her breath stinks, she does not have a pleasant voice, and she does walk gracefully as a goddess would.
Shakespeare mentions the damask rose often in his plays. The speaker says that his mistress does not move like an angel but she walk on ground. Shakespeare in his sonnet numbered 53, compares all beauty to his friend, and criticizes for trying to be as good as his friend. In his poems and plays, Shakespeare invented thousands of words, often combining or contorting Latin, French, and native roots. He does this by seemingly comparing his friend to things of beauty when in reality he is suggesting that his friend is the ideal and the beautiful things are merely copies or reflections of the friend.
You might also enjoy and. Perhaps true love is accepting that a person has faults and loving them anyway. In the first quatrain, the speaker spends one line on each comparison between his mistress and something else the sun, coral, snow, and wires—the one positive thing in the whole poem some part of his mistress is like. Through the use of comparisons, the English sonnet and an anti-Petrarchan This expression shows how Shakespeare believes love should see flaws but be able to overlook them. In line 3 he compares her breasts with snow and says that they are dun. The comparison of her eyes to the sun, the color of coral is not as red as her lips and her skin to the color of snow and her hairs like black wires are all metaphors. This woman's lips must be very bland, indeed! Thus, Shakespeare is using all the techniques available, including the sonnet structure itself, to enhance his parody of the traditional Petrarchan sonnet typified by Sidney's work.
Do we think that by merely rejecting such hyperbole, Shakespeare is doing down his mistress? I have seen roses damask'd, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. The speaker still adores her, but expresses that she is less than what he compares her too. However, while the narrator's honesty in sonnet 130 may seem commendable, we must not forget that Shakespeare himself was a master of the compliment and frequently made use of the very same sorts of exaggerated comparisons satirized here. I love to hear her speak; yet I know perfectly well that music has a far more pleasant sound. Flesch notes that while what Shakespeare writes of can seem derisive, he is in reality complimenting qualities the mistress truly exhibits, and he ends the poem with his confession of love. Sonnet 130 mocks the typical Petrarchan metaphors by presenting a speaker who seems to take them at face value, and somewhat bemusedly, decides to tell the truth. Sonnet 130 'My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun' The sun is bright and warm; her eyes are cold and dull! This poem can be taken the wrong way at first, but with a closer look at purpose, form, and content, the meaning of this poem becomes much clearer.