My Thoughts on "My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun"

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My Thoughts on “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” Gabrielle Willis
Dr. Ingo Stoehr
English 1302.V99
27 February 2013

Outline
I. Introduction
II. Purpose
a. Love Parody
b. To show he loves her
III. Form
c. Sonnet
d. Iambic Pentameter
e. “Turn”
f. Alternating pairs
g. Couplet Conclusion
IV. Content
h. Description
i. Comparison
j. Satire
k. Hyperbole of the Allusion
V. Conclusion

William Shakespeare was a well known poet and play writer who lived from 1564-1616. In 1609, He wrote the poem, My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun, Sonnet 130. In the poem, Shakespeare describes the woman he loves, in a way that would seem not as complimentary as Petrarchan sonnets would have been. The Dark Lady, who is featured in this poem, is also featured in sonnets 127-154, but this time there is a twist. At first, Shakespeare sounds critical of his mistress, but in the last two lines of the poem, he talks about how he genuinely loves her. This poem can be taken the wrong way at first, but with a closer look at purpose, form, and content, the meaning of this poem becomes much clearer. Purpose

This poem is a parody to the Petrarchan sonnets. The denotative meaning of parody is a humorous or satirical imitation of a piece of literature or writing (Dictionary.com), and that is exactly what he does here. Shakespeare’s goal was to “poke fun” at the love poems of his time. Petrarchan poems used worn out clichés such as “eyes like the sun” and “skin as white as snow”. I am guessing that Shakespeare was tired of hearing unreal comparisons of women to things in nature. As the last line of the sonnet states “As any she belied with false compare”. He wrote this sonnet to give a realistic comparison of a beautiful woman, without all of the exaggeration and allusions used in Petrarchan sonnets.

Shakespeare’s purpose was to show that a woman did not have to fit the mold...
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