Sonnet 130: Imperfectly Perfect
The secular world is increasingly fixated on the concept of beauty and the pursuit of perfection, however this preoccupation is not unique to the 20th century. While traditional love poems in the 18th century generally focused on glorifying a woman's beauty, Sonnet 130 written by William Shakespeare goes against the conventional culture of love poems and instead describes the realistic nature of his object of affection. In Sonnet 130, the idea of love and is intensely expressed and taken to a greater level of intimacy where beauty lies within an individual and not just on the surface. The allegorical meaning is presented through images that allow the reader to understand the poem beyond its literal meaning. In Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, the notion of perfection is evaluated to a point where it is almost made irrelevant in relation to beauty and true love.
In Sonnet 130, it seems as if William Shakespeare laughs at the idea of idealism and perfection. The expressions of discontent and dissatisfaction give the poem a satiric tone. This poem is written in Shakespearean iambic pentameter, commonly used by Shakespeare in many of his poems. It follows the ABAB-CDCD-EFEF-GG rhyme scheme. The first 12 lines are all rhyming pairs, followed by the rhyming couplet. In the first 4 lines of the poem the speaker expresses his lady’s lack of perfection and almost complains about how she does not fit the description of the typical Elizabethan woman every other poet was writing about. Following the first 4 lines of the poem are a set of 8 lines which are represented in pairs. The first line in the pair reveals what the speaker finds appealing and ideal, and then the next line quickly shifts to how his love does not contain that appeal. Throughout the poem it seems as if the speaker constantly criticizes his mistress for not exhibiting perfection, for not being flawless, for not being beyond comparison. However, the turn, which takes...
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