Sonnet130 Analysis

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Metaphor Vs. Simile in Sonnet 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;

*His mistress’ eyes…like the sun= simile because it is a direct comparison using “like.”

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

*Coral is far more red than her lips= would have been a simile because if he had not been making fun of these types of cliche poems, it would have been “her lips are as red as corals.”

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

*If he had not been satirical, this line would probably be “her breasts are as white as snow,” which would have been a simile.

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

*This is a metaphor because Shakespeare is making an analogy between wires and her hair. I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

*Once again, if he had been in earnest, this would have been “her cheeks are like roses”= simile.

And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

*Would have been a simile= “my mistress’ breath is as delightful as a perfume.” I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

*Again, would have been a simile= “her voice is as pleasing as music.” I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:

*Would have been a simile= “her stride is like a goddesses.’” And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

*As rare as…= simile.

Before analyzing this poem in class, I just thought that Shakespeare had been making fun of all clichés ever used to describe women in love poems. But after doing the explicative paraphrasing in class, I am able to finally understand that Shakespeare was doing more than satire. He actually is earnest in a way, but you just have to look at the metaphors and similes and analyze them to see the full view. Shakespeare is basically saying that his lover is as rare (like a gem...
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