Shakespeare's My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun Essay

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Shakespeare's My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun

Many authors compose sonnets about women whom they loved. Most of these authors embellish their women's physical characteristics by comparing them to natural wonders that we, as humans, find beautiful. Shakespeare's "My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun" contradicts this idea, by stating that his mistress lacks most of the qualities other men wrongly praise their women for possessing. Shakespeare presents to one that true love recognizes imperfections and feels devotion regardless of flaws, while satirically expressing his personal thoughts on Petrarchan sonnets. Through the use of comparisons, the English sonnet and an anti-Petrarchan
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This expression shows how Shakespeare believes love should see flaws but be able to overlook them.

Shakespeare uses the form of an English sonnet, more commonly known as the Shakespearean sonnet, to communicate his thoughts. A Shakespearean sonnet "is organized into three quatrains and a couplet, which typically rhyme abab cdcd efef gg" (Meyer, p.917). Additionally, within these sonnet styles "the most pronounced break or turn comes with the concluding couplet" (Meyer, p.917). The consistency of rhyme scheme helps underscore Shakespeare's thoughts by emphasizing certain words. Looking at the first two lines of each quatrain and comparing the rhyme with the second two lines of the quatrain, one may see some interesting pairing of words. "Sun" (line 1) and "red" (line 2) versus "dun" (line 3) and "head" (line 4), "white" (line 5) and "cheeks" (line 6) versus "delight" (line 7) and "reeks" (line 8) and finally "know" (line 9) and "sound" (line 10) versus "go" (line 11) and "ground" (line 12). The words completing the first two lines in each quatrain, when paired together, describe something pleasant while the words paired in the second two lines describe something unpleasant. This helps strengthen Shakespeare's message