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William Shakespeare – Sonnet 130

Sonnet 130, Written by William Shakespeare, is a beautiful poem that captures the realistic beauty of a woman Shakespeare refers to as his “mistress.” Upon first reading this poem, the conclusion that it is written about a woman he finds unattractive is easily reached. However, once further analyzed, it is evident that this poem is actually about a woman he finds beautiful. It is assumed that the woman this poem focuses on was a woman that William Shakespeare personally knew. The woman in this poem, granted she is not given a name, could be created based on how Shakespeare felt about the unrealistic view of women in general.

William Shakespeare may have directed his poem toward one woman, but it is possible he did that to give his poem more focus. This poem utilizes many metaphors; an example of this is, “coral is far redder than her lips red; if snow is white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs are wires, black wires grow on her head.” The metaphors in this poem lend a realistic view to a poem that could be easily misunderstood. Within this poem, the idealistic notions of feminine beauty are challenged with harsh lines, such as “And in some perfumes are there more delight, that in the breath that from my mistress reeks.”

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William Shakespeare says that “my mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” this indicates that the clich�s used to describe women were unrealistic, and he recognized that. The last line, “I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare”. This poem is essentially about a real woman, or all women, largely in response to the language used to describe women. Sonnet 130 is a poem that is still relative in our western society. Perhaps women are no longer referred to as having “roses” within their cheeks but are instead compared to airbrushed media-driven images that are unattainable. William Shakespeare wrote about a topic that is still plaguing society.

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William Shakespeare - Sonnet 130. (2021, Sep 14). Retrieved October 23, 2021, from https://essayscollector.com/essays/william-shakespeare-sonnet-130/