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Love Through The Ages | Sonnet 130

Ruth Owen | Wednesday October 12, 2011

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  1. Studying For The Exam
  2. Examples From Literature
  3. About The Exam
  4. Further Reading
  5. The Examination
  6. Symptoms of Love, Graves
  7. On Chesil Beach
  8. The First Tooth, Lamb
  9. The Deserter
  10. The Soldier, Brooke
  11. A Lady of Letters
  12. Measure for Measure
  13. Hamlet
  14. Othello
  15. King Lear
  16. Equus
  17. Great Expectations
  18. Enduring Love
  19. Mid-Term Break, Heaney
  20. Your Last Drive
  21. The Going
  22. The Waste Land, Elliot

Sonnet 130

William Shakespeare 1564-1616

Shakespeare, in his numerous sonnets, has written about different types of love, and shows an original, somewhat subversive view of romantic love, devoid of the usual romantic comparisons. In fact in Sonnet 130 he mocks the conventional language of love. How does the language used show that he is mocking conventional notions of beauty? Consider also aspects of Shakespeare’s uses of form and structure.

‘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.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks,
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
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 belied with false compare.’


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