Shakespearean sonnet 130 “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;” is a sonnet written for the common man. It is written in such a simplistic way that anyone can understand the idea Shakespeare is trying to convey. Despite its simple outer appearance, sonnet ass’s internal mechanisms are used perfectly to further illustrate Shakespearean point. By using the traditional format of a Shakespearean sonnet, focusing on the renaissances’ popular topic of love, and saturating this ideal, Shakespeare enforces the theme-outward appearances are insignificant-in all aspects of his sonnet.
Sonnet 130 is easily identified as a Shakespearean sonnet because it contains all of the crucial aspects of one. It has 14 lines arranged in three quatrains and a couplet, an ABA CDC fee egg rhyme scheme written in iambic pentameter, as well as many examples of assonance and similes. The first line’s simile, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;” (line 1) sets the whole mood of the piece by saying something the reader is definitely not expecting to hear. This isn’t the only simile used.
Although this is the only line that has a “like” in it, there are other similes used throughout the sonnet where “like” or “as” are implied. “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red,” (line 2) is Just one example of this. “l have seen roses damasks, red and white/ But no such roses see I in her cheeks,” (Lines 5-6) is the only metaphor in the sonnet, every other comparison is an implied simile. Many of these similes also contained examples of assonance. “Nothing like the sun,” (Line 1) is a simple example of this.
This sonnet is structured exactly how you would expect it to be, however the subject is addressed in such an unconventional way that it will throw you off. Just because all of the numbers look right on paper does not mean that the piece is Just like any other sonnet written in this format. It may share the same format with all of Shakespearean other sonnets, but the way it is written is quite different from all of them. It is satirical not serious. In the renaissance many authors and poets began to obsess on the idea of love. They viewed it as this perfect thing.
So many ideas and opinions about love were thrown out in the form of plays, poems, songs, stories, etc. , that it became an unachievable dream due to the high expectations of the lovers. True love was between two perfect people, who looked and acted as such. It was not between two common people who were flawed in their appearance and stature. Shakespeare focuses on love in this sonnet Just as much as those writers and poets did in theirs; the difference is that Shakespeare plays on their perfect ideals to create a satiric portrayal of true love.
He says the opposite of what he knows his reader expects to hear in the classic love poem. Instead of long luscious locks cascading down her back, “black wires grow on her head” (line 4). His mistress didn’t float across the ground like a goddess. She instead “treads on the ground” (line 12). Shakespeare doesn’t puff up the notion of love like so many of his colleagues do. He lays the truth out right in front of the reader. The image of love he puts in the reader’s mind is not one of beauty.
In fact, Shakespeare challenged the says of the common Renaissance love writer in this sonnet by creating a detailed image of a very unattractive woman. A quick glance at the poem may cause you to interpret it as very unkind and degrading, but when you study it more closely you tint that it is actually very nearest and sincere. Tater the lover in this poem goes on and on for 12 lines about how ugly his mistress is, he sums up the true meaning of his rant in the final couplet, “And yet, by, heaven, I think my love as rare/ As any she belied with false compare. Lines 13-14) In two lines he summarized true love. Everyone feels that the person they love is most “rare” no matter how wiry their hair might be or how unhorse their cheeks are. There is so much more to love than simply looking the part on the outside, you have to feel it on the inside. Shakespeare wrote it down in this sonnet to show everyone that love is not this lofty expectation that only the best of the best can achieve, it is an emotion shared by everyone no matter what you look like, or from what walk of life you come from. There is a lot to be learned room this sonnet.
Not only do the words express a theme of loving inner beauty, but the format it is written in supports this lesson fully. Love in the Renaissance is explored in a unique way and leads to a moral that we can directly apply to our lives. Love is not a foreign concept to most people, understanding that the important part is on the inside is the only way for anyone to embrace love fully. By studying how the structure and format of the sonnet support Shakespearean idea that outward appearances are insignificant, we can learn to embrace love fully.
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