Essay about William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 130

1205 Words Nov 29th, 2014 5 Pages
Unconventional in nature and an obvious mockery of traditional Sixteenth Century love sonnets, Shakespeare composes Sonnet 130 in which he discusses the appearance of his mistress. Unlike other sonnet writers of his time, Shakespeare does not over exaggerate her beauty by comparing her to features to objects in nature. He explains that his mistress’ eyes “are nothing like the sun” (line 1) and “coral is far more red than her lips’ red” (line 2) however, by making these assertions, Shakespeare does not diminish her beauty in any way. Rather Shakespeare creates an image of what true beauty is not and implies what it is. True beauty has no standard. It is not pale skin or rosy cheeks, true beauty is left to the eye of the beholder. For Shakespeare, it is not ideal characteristics that he finds beautiful, but it is his mistress in her natural state. Shakespeare extensively utilizes imagery, metaphors, sardonic tone and critical diction to provide a contrast between the perception of beauty and true beauty; in doing so, critiques the professions of admiration of unrealistic descriptions and unattainable images made by other poets, while asserting the theme of unwavering and nonsensical nature of genuine love. The vivid imagery and metaphors in lines one through twelve establish the perception and standard for beauty in which Shakespeare destroys in the last two lines. In line five, Shakespeare describes roses he has seen, some of which have been “damasked red and white” (line…

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