The Theme Of Love In Shakespeare's Sonnet 130

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Introduction Sonnet 130 is considered to be in the group of poems addressing the so called ‘Dark Lady’, who the speaker hates, loves and lusts for simultaneously. In the Sonnet Shakespeare characterizes the Dark Lady’s appearance with metaphors, which are extraordinarily out of character for the Petrarchan traditions. Instead of lauding the unavailable mistress in the highest terms, as the Petrarchan tradition dictates, Sonnet 130 humorously mocks those traditions by ‘placing innovative pressure upon the limits of metaphoricity’ (Callaghan, 56). This paper briefly engages with Shakespeare’s witty criticism of the Petrarchan traditions and mainly focuses on the different notion of love that Shakespeare portrays in this Sonnet. In contrast to the clichéd way of declaring one’s love to the beloved, which mainly consisted of lauding the object of affection, Shakespeare compares the mistress to a number of beauties of nature - but always against her favour. However, with the rhyming couplet at the end, the whole tone and…show more content…
Shakespeare basically strives against the stream by proclaiming his independence from the Petrarchan traditions and doing the exact opposite of those. Through the use of his rhetorical and argumentative structure the author plays an elaborate joke on the hyperbolism and exaggerated compliments. While doing so he also proclaims his love in a truthful manner which puts his declaration on a whole other level. With the use of the couplet he changes the tone of the poem into a plain but very powerful underlying message – his love to his mistress is so deep that he does not need to uses hyperbolic terms to describe it. To conclude, Sonnet 130 is an unconventional love poem which simultaneously criticises the Petrarchan traditions and declares another special notion of
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