Sonnet 130 and My Ugly Love Contrast and Comparison
Shakespeare’s sonnet 130, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” and Pablo Neruda’s “My ugly love” are popularly known to describe beauty in a way hardly anyone would write: through the truth. It’s a common fact that modern lovers and poets speak or write of their beloved with what they and the audience would like to hear, with kind and breathtaking words and verses. Yet, Shakespeare and Neruda, honest men as they both were, chose to write about what love truly is, it matters most what’s on the inside rather than the outside. The theme of true beauty and love are found through Shakespeare and Neruda’s uses of imagery, structure, and tone.
The imagery portrayed in both Shakespeare and Neruda’s sonnet share the juxtaposition between negative and positive imagery. Still, Neruda’s sonnet constantly interchanges negative and positive verses more than Shakespeare does. For instance, the first quatrain of Neruda’s sonnet perfectly portrays the mentioned juxtaposition with “My ugly, you’re a messy chestnut. My beauty, you are pretty as the wind. Ugly: your mouth is big enough for two mouths. Beauty: your kisses are as fresh as melons.” This imagery, in addition, involves two famous types of poetic devices: metaphor and simile. It’s intriguing to see that the metaphors are used to describe the ugly, while the similes are used for the beauty. These two devices add on to our understanding as readers to see that with the metaphors for the ugly is meant to make us see an over exaggerated view of the speaker’s reality in regards to his beloved and the similes for the beauty is meant for us to see what the speaker really sees because he is in love. In contrast, Shakespeare’s sonnet twice as much negative, but honest imagery within the three quatrains. The first quatrain serves as the ideal example of the concept, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white,...
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