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Sonnet 130 analysis - William Shakespeare satirises the convention of a traditional love poem

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Sonnet 130 Sonnet 130 is a poem written in a “Shakespearian” form and being a sonnet is about his love for another woman, however William Shakespeare satirises the convention of a traditional love poem. He describes his loved one in a surprising way, informing that she is not the possessor of good looks or godly features that idealise a loved one but describes his loved one as a simple woman who is a flesh and blood mortal, ‘i grant i never saw a goddess go.’ Sonnet 130 praises her beauty in real terms in the way he exposes these exaggerated clichés as empty praise that suggest a kind of realism that have a deeper moral value to them. Overall, appearance does not matter where true love is concerned. ...read more.


The ordinary beauty and humanity of his love are what is important to Shakespeare in this sonnet, as he deliberately uses typical love poetry clichés against themselves. ‘If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head’. Hair is another typical cliché about women’s beauty being golden threads, however Shakespeare described his loves hair as ‘black wires.’ Conventional love sonnets would have depicted their loved ones as god like figures that speak music and drift above the ground as they walk, Shakespeare mocks the way a pretentious poet might say ‘My love walks like a goddess' as he bluntly writes ‘My mistress when she walks treads on the ground’ This reinforces Shakespeare's main theme that perhaps the best way tell someone you love him or her in a poem is to be simple, honest and straightforward. ...read more.


In fact his mistress is quite as ?rare? as any woman praised in more conventional terms. It?s just that he is not going to bide by these mindless poetical terms. In some ways Shakespeare is actually exaggerating overturning the conventional way of praising his mistress? beauty in order to imply that his love goes beyond that and that it is unique in this way. After the volta in the sonnet, Shakespeare acknowledges all of his loves imperfections and limitations she may have and says she is nonetheless very special towards him, ?And yet, by heaven, i think my love is rare.? The simplicity of these lines further clarifies true honest love and serve as a kind of punch-line within the poem. Shakespeare insists that love does not need conceits in order to be real, and women do not need to look like flowers or the sun in order to be beautiful. ...read more.

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