Women in Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 Essay

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Women in Shakespeare's Sonnet 130

Shakespeare is expressing, though not in the first person, that he knows women are not the perfect beauties they are portrayed to be and that we should love them anyway. He uses two types of descriptions, one of their physical beauty and the other of their characteristics to make fun of all those ‘romantic’ poets trying to ‘brown nose’ the girls they like.

One of the physical attributes, in the first quatrain, that he mentions is his “mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,” meaning she has no ‘twinkle’ in her eyes. In the first quatrain, he also speaks of coral as being “far more red” than the lips of his mistress; this is a use of imagery to show her non-beauty. He also recognizes that there are
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Shakespeare also speaks of her breasts as being “dun,” or brown, instead of white as snow. Being tan was a physical sign that someone has been outside a lot and therefore is working. The last physical attribute to be mentioned is her “black wiry hair.” This is a contrast to most descriptions of women, where they would have blonde silky hair.

On the second critic, “He loves to hear her speak” even though he knows of more pleasing things to listen to. Her voice might not sound like a harp but its not raspy or hoarse. He acknowledges “the breathe that from my mistress reeks” is not the ‘sweetest smelling flower in the bouquet,’ but it’s not rotten eggs or rotting flesh, so he’s pretty well off. He uses the truth of a woman’s beauty and graces to show women wait a lot of poets are lying about in their ‘sweet’ poems. He is pointing out that they are visualizing women in extremely un-proportional views.

Mr. Shakespeare himself wrote of women that were so much more beautiful than they most likely were; this shows his ability to see and write both sides of a situation. His use of imagery allows the reader to verbally ‘see’ this woman, and her plainness. He mentions a beautiful object that is vivid itself, and then says his girl is nothing like the previous. Even
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