This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Close Reading Of Shakespeare´S Sonnet 130

795 words - 3 pages

Sonnet 130 is Shakespeare’s harsh yet realistic tribute to his quite ordinary mistress. Conventional love poetry of his time would employ Petrarchan imagery and entertain notions of courtly love. Francis Petrarch, often noted for his perfection of the sonnet form, developed a number of techniques for describing love’s pleasures and torments as well as the beauty of the beloved. While Shakespeare adheres to this form, he undermines it as well. Through the use of deliberately subversive wordplay and exaggerated similes, ambiguous concepts, and adherence to the sonnet form, Shakespeare creates a parody of the traditional love sonnet. Although, in the end, Shakespeare embraces the overall Petrarchan theme of total and consuming love.
Sonnet 130 openly mocks the traditional love sonnets of the time. This is, perhaps, made most apparent through the use of subversive comparisons and exaggerated similes. The intention of a subversive comparison is to mimic a traditional comparison yet highlight the opposite purpose. Whereas his contemporaries would compare their love’s beauty to alabaster or pearls, Shakespeare notes, “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun” (3), therefore intentionally downplaying the beauty of his mistress. Later he states, “...in some perfumes there is more delight / than in the breath that from my mistress reeks” (7-8). Both of these exemplify that Shakespeare ridicules the traditional love sonnet by employing the same imagery to convey opposite intentions. Closely related to subversive comparisons, Shakespeare also makes use of exaggerated similes. Unlike his contemporaries, Shakespeare introduces his Mistress in negative conventional terms. “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun / coral is far more red than her lips” (1-2). In essence, he deliberately uses the metaphors against themselves. Her eyes are not like the sun. Her lips are nothing close to the color of coral.
Aside from subversive comparisons and exaggerated similes, Sonnet 130 is wrought with the ambiguity. According to The Oxford English Dictionary, a mistress is considered “female head of a family, household, or other establishment; a woman holding such a position in conjunction with a male counterpart” (cite). However the word mistress also connotes a woman in a sexual relationship with a man, other than his wife. In the case of Sonnet 130 it is unclear whether the Mistress is...

Find Another Essay On Close Reading of Shakespeare´s Sonnet 130

Close Reading of The Changeling Essay

1826 words - 8 pages interpretation infused with sexual prospects as the word ‘sweet’ suggests ideas of pleasure; and being followed by ‘act of yours’ alludes the ‘act’ of sexual intercourse. This misunderstanding later eventuates in a form of rhetorical irony, as Beatrice ignorance misled her into understanding ‘employed’ equated to DeFlores being after monetary reward, but it is revealed “[DeFlores] place[s] wealth after the heels of pleasure” (3.4.116) – which

“Trout” and “Sonnet 130”: A Comparison of Two Poems

553 words - 2 pages the same type of fish we have Piovesana 3 probably seen before and would probably have always thought ugly, and allows the reader to find a beauty that might not have been seen previously. “Trout’s” descriptive language creates a better feeling of an admirable tone, whereas “Sonnet 130” needs to be read over to achieve the same quality. When one first begins to read Shakespeare’s poem, they do not quickly understand or readily grasp the poem right away. It takes reading the final lines and the re-reading to understand, and moreover feel, the tone William Shakespeare is trying to employ.

Analysis of Shakespeare Sonnet 12

777 words - 3 pages The passage of time is a popular theme amongst Shakespeare’s sonnets more specifically in Sonnet 12. In Sonnet 12 Shakespeare speaks about seasons changing and objects dying all as time passes without pause. Event after event happens in a cycle with birth being the start and death being the end and everyone is a part of it. It is also important to note that this being Sonnet 12 is significant in that there are twelve hours in a day, twelve

A Critical Comparison of Shakespeare's "Sonnet 130" and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning's "Sonnet 14"

1312 words - 5 pages the Barrate-Browning’s style of writing sonnets, where they antithesis the traditional view of love. The most basic gist in both sonnets that they both address to their loved ones which is courtly described the reality in both sonnets. In comparison Shakespeare addresses his sonnet to a “Dark Lady” which lacks of clichés and very touched poignancy. In addition Elizabeth Barrett –Browning addresses her sonnet to her husband that she claims to be

Analysis of Sonnet 54 by William Shakespeare

931 words - 4 pages while writing. It can help the reader understand the speaker, can emotionally involve the reader, sets the mood for the sonnet, and tells the reader how to feel when reading the poem. In Sonnet LIV by William Shakespeare, the tone of the speaker, an older man, is sincerity and passion. “But for virtue is their only show, they live unwoo’d and unrespected fade, die to themselves” (Shakespeare, 9) The speaker explains how the dog roses, which only

The Questioning Poet: A Close Reading Of Dickinsons 569

1831 words - 8 pages When one reads Emily Dickinson, one is expecting a piece of writing which is full of dread and discontent in the world. This is why at first glance poem number 569, or "I reckon- When I count at all-" one instantly feels taken aback by the apparent positive imagery that is found within the writing. However upon close reading one makes a realization that the poem is just as dark as her other pieces, if not even more upsetting. Although the

Critical Analysis of Sonnet 29 by William Shakespeare

3172 words - 13 pages Critical Analysis of Sonnet 29 by William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (1564-1616) lived in a time of religious turbulence. During the Renaissance people began to move away from the Church. Authors began to focus on the morals of the individual and on less lofty ideals than those of the Middle Ages. Shakespeare wrote one-hundred fifty-four sonnets during his lifetime. Within these sonnets he largely explored romantic love, not the love of

A Close Reading of Pages 100 to 115 of The Remains of the Day

1435 words - 6 pages   "Examine pages 100 to 115 of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel "The Remains of the day" in detail.  Show by a close reading of key scenes within this how the novelist's language and form both reveals, and conceals, central issues of character, emotion, politics and memory."   Pages100-115 of Ishiguro's novel describe the beginning of a journey to the west country taken by a man called Stevens, (a model English butler

Shakespeare?s Sonnets: The Theme Of Love

1213 words - 5 pages entered English Poetry. The Elizabethan sonnets show the mingling of the conventional with the original. There was a greater influence of Italy and France on the English sonnet form but in the hands of the three great masters Sidney, Spenser and Shakespeare it took a unique form. The sonnets had marks of sincerity that were in direct relation to life and their authors. In the Elizabethan Age there were dramatic authors who wrote verse as secondary

Analysis of William Shakespeare´s Life

1238 words - 5 pages Analysis of William Shakespeare William Shakespeare’s life has brought much curiosity to many. This is natural as he is considered to be the greatest figure of English Literature. William Shakespeare, in terms of his life and work, is the most written-about author in the history of Western civilization. His works include 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and 2 epic narrative poems, the First of which was published after his death in 1623 by two of

Analysis of Virginia Woolf´s Shakespeare´s Sister

795 words - 4 pages In Virginia Woolf’s short essay, Shakespeare’s Sister (1928), she explores the misogynistic world’s effect on women artists from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. Depicted through an imaginary sister of Shakespeare, and her own experiences, Woolf explains how “in the nineteenth century a woman was not encouraged to be an artist.” Instead, women were deemed of no value beyond the home or child bearing (Jacobus 702). Such gender issues

Similar Essays

Sonnet 1 By Edmund Spencer Compared To Sonnet 130 By Shakespeare

464 words - 2 pages Sonnet 1 by Edmund Spenser and Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare differ greatly in form, tone, content, meaning, and persona. Shakespeare begins with a rather unflattering attribute; "My mistress' are nothing like the sun" while Spenser, praises his love by wishing he were a book she was reading.Sonnet 1 by Spenser follows a rhyme scheme of his own devising (ababbcbccdcdee) that combines interwoven thoughts. In this sonnet he praises his wife's

“How Do The Two Poems “Sonnet 130” By William Shakespeare And “Valentine” By Carol Ann Duffy Present The Theme Of Love?”

1584 words - 7 pages The two poems “Sonnet 130” and “Valentine” present similar ideas about love, though they are written centuries apart. Sonnet 130 (written by William Shakespeare) is like a love poem turned on its head. Instead of describing her in a positive light, he criticise her physical features. He describes the flaws of her body, her smell, even the sound of her voice. Then, at the end, he changes his tune and tells us about his real and complete love for

The Significance And Involvedness Of Sonnet 130

801 words - 4 pages someone have a realistic picture of the person being written about. Those poetic metaphors are comparable to Photoshop today because both raise the expectations of what someone should look like, and Shakespeare tried to expose the damaging effects of these exaggerations with his Sonnet 130. Sonnet 130 does not have as much recognition as Sonnet 18, but it is noteworthy. Sonnet 130’s placement of the “volta” makes the ending more intense, and the

An Explination Of Shakespeare's Sonnet 130

649 words - 3 pages “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun” is a quote from Shakespeare’s sonnet 130 that compare’s Shakespeare’s mistress skin color to something that is unattractive for the time period of the sixteenth century. Shakespeare’s sonnet 130 ,“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,” mocks the traditional Petrarchan sonnet. It is questionable whether it mocks a certain Petrarchan sonnet or rather the whole idealized love object aspect of