Compare/Contrast of Shakespeare's Sonnets 29 and 130

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Two Tones of Love
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29, and Sonnet 130 are both poems written about love. Although they are both speaking of love, the tone and delivery are vastly different. In Sonnet 29, it is apparent that the Shakespeare is writing the speaker talking to his love with the lines “Haply I think on thee”… “For thy sweet love remembered….” Meanwhile in Sonnet 130, Shakespeare is writing the speaker talking about his love to another person with the lines, “My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.”….. “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare….”

Though at first glance the sonnets do not show many similarities, upon closer inspection they become more evident. In both sonnets the Shakespeare does not mention said love until the end of each sonnet; “For thy sweet love” in Sonnet 29 to “And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare” in Sonnet 130. Sonnet 29 and Sonnet 130 also talk of things that you would not think to see in a love sonnet. In Sonnet 29 it seems that Shakespeare is writing about the speakers financial status, or lack thereof, and how he feels looked down on by a higher society. This could be because his love is from that privileged class. While in Sonnet 130 Shakespeare has the Swearingen 2

speaker comparing his lover to beautiful things, although she is ugly.
This is also difference in both sonnets. In Sonnet 29 financial status can be seen in the lines “Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,” … “Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope.” Sonnet 130 compares the woman’s ugly features to beautiful things with the lines, “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;” … “And in some perfumes is there more delight than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.”

Though these sonnets have some similarities and small differences, there is on major difference between the two. Sonnet 29 the speaker is talking to his love, “Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, haply, I think of thee, and then my state.” It...
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