I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare. Most sonnet sequences in Elizabethan England were modeled after that of Petrarch. In the sonnets, Petrarch praises her beauty, her worth, and her perfection using an extraordinary variety of metaphors based largely on natural beauties.
William Shakespeare Source William Shakespeare and Sonnet Sonnet is an unusual poem because it turns the idea of female beauty on its head and offers the reader an alternative view of what it's like to love a woman, warts and all, despite her shortcomings.
It parodies other sonnets of the Elizabethan era which were heavily into Petrarchan ideals, where the woman is continually praised and seen as beyond reproach. In this sense sonnet is an anomaly, a unique poem that flouts the rules of convention and breaks new ground in the process.
Shakespeare must have known what he was doing when he wrote this sonnet because he ridicules an art form he himself was a master of. Being the 'upstart Crow' that he was, he couldn't help but mock the other writers who were sticking to the Petrarchan model.
Sonnet carries within it similar themes to those traditional sonnets - Female Beauty, The Anatomy and Love - but it approaches them in a thoroughly realistic way; there is no flowery, idealistic language.
The mistress's imperfections are praised and by so doing it could be argued that the speaker is being more honest. True love isn't reliant on some illusive notion of perfect beauty. The speaker accepts that his lover isn't a paragon of beauty but a real woman with wiry black hair, off-white breasts and a stinking breath.
There is no poetic falsity on display. Shakespeare wrote sonnets in total, with sonnets - addressed to the mysterious 'Dark Lady', a possible real-life lover of the poet. So sonnet belongs to a subset of poems that delve into this relationship, expressing pain, delight, anguish and playfulness.
It is clear from these 28 sonnets that the speaker was deeply in love with this woman, yet torn emotionally because she lied, was deceitful and cruel.
By accepting her faults: In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes, For they in thee a thousand errors note; from Sonnet he is able to confess his alternative love.
By usurping Petrarchan ideals and highlighting the mistress's 'errors', the speaker arguably succeeds in strengthening the bonds of that love. Sonnet Sonnet Analysis of Sonnet Sonnet stands alone as a unique and startlingly honest love poem, an antithesis to the sweet conventions of Petrarchan ideals which were prominent at the time.
Shakespeare doesn't hold back in his denial of his mistress's beauty. It's there for all to see in the first line.
When Shakespeare was writing this sonnet it was all the rage to compare a lover's eyes to the sun and sunlight - Shakespeare completely negates this, using the phrase 'nothing like' to emphasise the fact that this female's eyes are not bright. They were, according to a line in sonnetraven black.
The second line focuses on the mistress's lips and informs the reader that they are not that red, not as red as coral the marine coralsagain the perfect colour for the perfect female. These first two lines are caesura-free, there is no natural pause for the reader, and the iambic beat is dominant.
In lines three and four the anatomy of the mistress is further explored in unorthodox fashion. In Shakespeare's time the ideal woman was white, slender, blonde haired, red-lipped, bright-eyed and had silky smooth white skin. Not so the woman of sonnet Her breasts are a dull grey-brown colour, not snow white.
And she has dark hair that stands out like wires. Imagine that, comparing your lover's hair to strands of thin metal. Note the comma in both lines, a parallel, so the reader has to pause, breaking the rhythm, telling us that this is no ordinary poetic journey.
The first quatrain is all about the appearance of the mistress, what she isn't like. The second quatrain takes the reader a little deeper and in the paired lines five and six the notion that this mistress is not your ideal female model is reinforced. She doesn't have rosy cheeks, even if the speaker has seen plenty of natural damask roses in the garden.
If the classic, lovely and fragrant English Rose is absent, at least this mistress has no pretence to a sweet smelling breath.
Her breath reeks, which may mean stinks or may mean rises. Some say that in Shakespeare's time the word reeks meant to emanate or rise, like smoke.
Others claim it did mean smell or stink. Certainly in the context of the previous line - some perfume - the latter meaning seems more likely.
Sonnet becomes more abstract as it progresses.The tone and meaning of William Shakespeare’s sonnet (“My mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun”) are open to interpretation, as is especially the case with almost anything written. Sonnet by William Shakespeare.
William Shakespeare. Sonnet Analysis. My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun Coral is far more red than her lips’ red If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
Shakespearean Sonnet. There are lots of different ways to write a sonnet, which is basically a kind of short poem.
Shakespeare's sonnets have a very specific form, though, and scholars have named that form the "Shakespearean sonnet" after the great bard. My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet ) William Shakespeare, - My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
William Shakespeare’s Sonnet , “My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun” is thematically an anti-Petrarchan sonnet, that satirizes the conventions of the traditional Italian sonnet by. Shakespeare's Sonnets Summary and Analysis of Sonnet - "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun" Buy Study Guide.
Shakespeare's Sonnets study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.