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Literary Analysis Of “Sonnet 130”

“Sonnet 130” is a well-known sonnet written by William Shakespeare. The main theme of the following sonnet refers to the expression of love. He successfully used different literary aspects to convey the main theme of this creation. The following piece of work is mostly known for its starting line, which is as follows; “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.” (Shakespeare).

Shakespeare effectively expresses the strong form of affection for the mistress by explaining different features. The following poem is an effective elaboration of the idea that the natural beauty of a beloved person is more important regardless of any comparison. Here, the focus is to critically explain the specific features of the poem, which helps to understand the main theme or objective conveyed by the poet.

One of the most significant features used in the poem is the systematic scheme of rhyme. This particular facet is further distributed into three verses and a rhyming couplet. The overall poetic approach contains ten syllables per line. It is one of the most effective attempts in Shakespeare’s paradigm of a poem to express it in the form of a regular love poem. Proper selection of the words by the poet helps the audience to understand what the poem is all about with the consideration of different intentions.

The one interesting aspect associated with the following poem is that Shakespeare successfully used different mocking words and lines to express the beauty of the mistress but still there is the clear indication of the love he had for her. He describes different flaws of her, such as: “black wires grow on her head”, but he still declares love for her irrespective of her flawed features of her. The poet used the significant form of compare and contrast to express his pure emotions for the mistress. He demonstrates different physical features of the mistress with the imaginary woman, but his words show his affection for the mistress.

Another noticeable literary feature in the case of the following poem is characterized by the approach of the iambic pentameter, which is the indication of the unstressed-stressed foot. It is notable to mention that the consideration of every line in this poem is immensely effective because it provides one specific idea or thought related to the broader theme of the poem. Every line contained in the poem has its specific idea, which helps the audience connect with the approach expressed by the poet. Different aspects of nature are considered as examples in the poem to describe the characteristics of the mistress. The approach of compare and contrast provides the necessary insights about the different images in different lines. This aspect can be identified through the words sun, snow, roses, etc. Shakespeare adopts the paradigm of mental imagery to explain the physical features of the mistress, which play a vital role in understanding the poet’s unconditional love for her. The overall tone of the poem can be characterized by the approach that includes offensive, vulgar, and satiric features, but still, the poet successfully manages to convey the message of love and affection.

To conclude the discussion about Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare, it is crucial to mention that different literary features, such as tone, syllables, rhyme, meter, etc., are successfully applied in the following poem. Different words of rhyme in every line help to make a clear picture of the physical attributes of the mistress described by the poet. A deep comparison between the natural elements of beauty and the mistress’s characteristics helps to understand the main theme of the poem. The main message of the following sonnet come up with the approach that love is powerful feeling without the consideration of the conventional means of beauty.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. Sonnet 130. Project Gutenberg, 2007.



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