Theme Of Sonnet 130

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Throughout William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130,” the reader is constantly tricked into thinking he will compare his mistress to something beautiful and romantic, but instead the speaker lists beautiful things and declares that she is not like them. His language is unpredictable and humor is used for a majority of the poem. This captivating sonnet uses elements such as tone, parody, images, senses, form, and rhyme scheme to illustrate the contradicting comparisons of his mistress and the overarching theme of true love.
Shakespeare uses parody language to mock the idea of a romantic poem by joking about romance, but ultimately writes a poem about it. In the first quatrain, the beautiful image of a woman usually created during a romantic poem (i.e, having red lips, pure skin, silky hair) is parodied as he portrays his mistress as plain and not following normal beauty regulations. An example of this begins in the first line when Shakespeare states that his “mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” (1). Contrasting standard romantic poetry, Shakespeare immediately sets the tone to be perceived as negative by insinuating that his mistress’ eyes do not shine. Every line in this quatrain includes a direct comparison like this which begins by describing something beautiful to be compared to, then shifts the tone to express that she is unlike that characteristic. For example, he begins line 2 using the language of “coral” to describe her lips, but the tone is shifted when he says that
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