William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 130

1123 WordsNov 16, 20145 Pages
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 is an unconventional confession of love to his mistress, despite first interpretations. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 parodies the Petrarchan sonnet – popular during the Elizabethan period. Shakespeare uses figures of speech, sarcasm, and the Petrarchan form against itself to mock the ways in which feminine beauty is unrealistically compared to nature and represented. Due to Sidney’s and Spenser’s large impact regarding the popularization of the Petrarchan sonnet, Shakespeare largely uses their work as a critique. Shakespeare’s ultimate goal is to mock the conventions of the Petrarchan sonnet in order to convey the message that all beauty is subjective. Not only does Shakespeare accomplish this, but he also helps to diminish stigma related to the high beauty expectations during the Henrician and Elizabethan eras. Shakespeare uses the Petrarchan form against itself to convey the idea that comparing women to nature through sonnets is completely unrealistic and cliché. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 is committed to an “ABAB CDCD EFEF GG” pattern, contrastively to Petrarchan sonnets that go by the pattern “ABBA ABBA CDE CDE”, and the Spenserian pattern, “ABAB BCBC CDCD EE”. Shakespeare’s sonnets do however incorporate the couplet popularized by Thomas Wyatt in the 1520-1530’s, in order to emphasize his main argument: beauty is subjective (The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century, 121). Shakespeare avoids the conventional Petrarchan form in order to
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