Shakespeare Sonnet Analysis

This Shakespeare sonnet talks about the contrasts of the speakers lover and the beauties of the world. Unfortunately the lover is never on the winning side. The speaker tells us his lovers physical appearance, or lack thereof. His lovers eyes are nothing like the sun. As for her lips, coral is far more red than hers. Unlike the white snow, her breasts are dun-colored. Her hair was not smooth; it was like black wires grow on her head.

In the second quatrain the speaker tells us more about his lover. Her cheeks are no roses, and in some perfume is there more delight/ than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. The speaker continues on in the third quatrain about the voice of his mistress, for music hath a far more pleasing sound than the words that come out of her mouth.

Then the speaker criticizes his mistress far worse by saying grant I never saw a goddess go/ my mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground. Even though he has never seen a goddess, the speaker is pretty sure his lover is not one, for she does not possess the physical qualities of a goddess. In the couplet the speaker declares he thinks his love is as rare as any love when false comparisons are invoked.

The writer of this sonnet is mocking the other poets who wrote love poetry to an idealized mistress, that of goddess features. Shakespeare is making fun of the poems that praise woman for being that of a goddess, a woman who was perfect, for no one is perfect.

The love poems were written on fantasy rather than the reality that Shakespeare writes about. The writer decides not to follow the crowd of praising women in the love poems, but to tell the truth about them, for her eyes are really nothing like the sun. All in all, this sonnet is a joke on the conventions of love poetry at the time.

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Shakespeare Sonnet Analysis. (2019, Feb 17). Retrieved from