My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun

Topics: Poetry, Iambic pentameter, Poetic form Pages: 2 (777 words) Published: March 19, 2009
Eye of the Beholder
Shakespeare’s, “My Mistress’ Eyes are nothing like the Sun”, is a sonnet that contains fourteen lines. Each line possessing ten syllables and the meter of the sonnet is Iambic pentameter. In these fourteen lines Shakespeare beings to describe the beauty of his mistress and shows how she is still yet a human being with flaws. Shakespeare’s sonnet, “My Mistress’ Eyes are nothing like the Sun”, can be broken into four pieces, three quatrains and a couplet. This sonnet by Shakespeare is describing the love that he has for his mistress. The first quatrain sets the tone of the poem. Those four lines begin to describe Shakespeare’s mistress; in these lines the use of metaphors can be seen. In these first four lines Shakespeare does a comparison of his mistress’ physical features to nature. He is describing the image of her beauty is just as his love is for nature. The comparison of her eyes to the sun, the color of coral is not as red as her lips and her skin to the color of snow and her hairs like black wires are all metaphors. Since this sonnet is a love poem about his mistress, Shakespeare chose the everyday colors of nature that he sees to identify his mistress with. The symbols that Shakespeare is using reflect the time period; the woman that he is describing here is not of pale skin with pretty red lips and golden locks of hair. Her skin is a dull grayish color; she has lips that are not pretty and red, and her head if covered with black wiry hair. The second quatrain there is the comparison of her cheeks to the color of roses, but he is yet to find and roses that can compare. Roses are seen as a symbol of beauty, for the color of her cheeks to be compared as such, Shakespeare sees her as beautiful. The last couplet in this quatrain can be confusing. Here Shakespeare is talking about the mistress breath. One may sense that Shakespeare is mocking his mistress by describing her breath, “and in some perfumes is there more delight...
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