Significance and Interpretation of William Shakespeare's “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun”

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In the poem My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun, the speaker talks about the different ways in which people compare their wives or mistresses falsely to different entities. He points out how people do not see things how they really are and uses an example with his own mistress, stating how she does not have the characteristics of the various entities mentioned. He spends this poem comparing his mistress's appearance to other things, and then telling us how she doesn't measure up to them. He goes through a whole laundry list, giving us details about the flaws of her body, her smell, even the sound of her voice. Then, at the end, he changes his tune and tells us about his real and complete love for her. The speaker uses an example in the first lines of the poem: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips red; (1-2) Here, he makes the case that her eyes are very different from the sun. Though the sun is beautiful and glowing, it has little in common with her eyes. He means that even if that is a beautiful thing to say to someone, reality is that they cannot really be compared to the sun. He also mentions other examples, like coral having a different shade of red than his mistress’ lips. This is very different from words of men who claim that their women have the light of the sun in their eyes and coral lips. He asserts that though men might make these comparisons, they are not accurate, at least not when he gazes upon his mistress. He also speaks of perfume and notes that at times her breath reeks: And in some perfumes is there more delight. Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks (7-8) The speaker expresses the reality that one’s breath is not always perfect and does not always seem pleasant. Over time, that attraction that people have between themselves can wane. He means with the poem that physical attraction is neither constant nor stable and for this reason, a couple needs more than just false...
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