24 Feb. 2012
“My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun”
“My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun” is a sonnet written by William Shakespeare where he talks about the beauty of his mistress being less than what he is comparing her too. Mistress was the term used in Shakespeare’s time to refer to a wife or sweetheart. Shakespeare’s describes his mistress as an imperfect woman. His love for his mistress is from the heart rather than loving her with her physical appearance. Although his mistress is far from perfect Shakespeare still manages to find ways to bring out her inner beauty. Shakespeare compares his mistress to the beauty of his love for nature. Shakespeare is very detailed when comparing his mistress. He describes his mistress using several metaphors. Shakespeare says that “Her eyes are nothing like the sun, coral is redder than her lips; compared to the snow, her breast are dun colored, and her hairs are like black wires on her head.” Shakespeare is saying that her eyes do not have that beautiful sparkle that most women eyes have. Shakespeare starts every line off giving us a perfect image, but later takes it back gives us a less attractive image of his mistress. Shakespeare also describes his mistress breast to be dun in color. Dun means almost neutral brownish gray to dull grayish brown. I believe Shakespeare points this out 2
because most men are flattered by a woman’s breast, but his mistress does not have a beautiful chest worth looking at. He mentions the hairs are like black wires on her head because she does not have beautiful golden locks of hair. Shakespeare speaks very harsh of his mistress in the first quatrain. Shakespeare mentions “I have seen damasked roses red and white, but of all the roses that he has seen no such rose compare to her cheeks”. Roses are a symbol of love and beauty. He does let us know that she has beautiful soft cheeks. He...