Love Against Lust In Shakespeare’s 130th Sonnet

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Numerous men in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries developed a sonnet that praises women they loved, most of whom embellished their physical qualities. On the other hand, Shakespeare did exactly the opposite, in his 130th sonnet, he states that his mistress deficiencies most of the qualities other men mistakenly admire their women for acquiring, rosy cheeks, lips as red as coral and so on. Shakespeare uses criticism to explain how rare his love is towards her and he displays subtle aloofness for relationships belied by false comparison. He tells the reader that true love is not persistent about the imperfections but feels devotion regardless of the flaws; he sends this message through his artwork.

Like most of Shakespeare’s work, his 130th sonnet has significance on copious stages. First, he pontificates on love as opposed to lust. Any man with those desires will focus on the pleasing characteristics like rosy cheeks, red lips and fragrant breath, however, Shakespeare does not utilize a method that praises his mistress. In fact, Shakespeare criticizes his mistress, writing that she does not possess any of the qualities men admire their women for, he states that she does not have rosy cheeks, her lips not nearly as red as coral and her breath inferiorly pleasant than perfumes. Because of his recognition of her bodily shortcomings, he uses true love to contrast desire. Shakespeare also subtly castigates the common practice of overstressing feminine beauty in sonnets.

To dispatch his many meanings, Shakespeare utilizes various different literary devices. Shakespeare consumes rhyme schemes and rhymes to style the sonnet in a more aesthetically pleasing way. The steadiness of rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG and rhythm highlights Shakespeare’s untiring feelings toward his lover. The 14-line sonnet consists of three quatrains and an end couplet, which underscores on certain words and helps the reader gain a deeper understanding of the theme since the emphasized words relate to the theme; appearance does not affect love.

Shakespeare uses conceit to describe what his mistress is not. In the first line of the first quatrain, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”, he applies a simile and a metaphor in the second line “If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.” These figures of speech are used to accentuate on how his mistress is not like the cliché sonnets about the expected beauty aspects that women should possess. Essentially, every line in the sonnet describes his woman through comparisons, excluding the couplet. The use of conceit enables the reader to vividly imagine what his mistress does not look like. Shakespeare also utilizes literary devices to assist the readers’ conception.

Retrospectively, Shakespeare’s 130th sonnet is most noteworthy because it demonstrates a model of how true love should be. While the sonneteer seems to condemn his mistress for her inadequacy, but it actually articulates the concept that true love distinguishes flaws and admires in spite of them. In its 14 lines, this poem conveys three diverse implications at unique depths. Most perceptibly, the sonnet commentates on love against lust. All readers in Shakespeare’s time would comprehend his observation on the deadly sin. Digging deeper, the sonnet is a literary critique of other sonnets’ embellishment of the woman’s qualities. This sonnet is outstanding because of Shakespeare’s veiled allusions and reliability with sonnet style despite eccentric ideas. While sonnets were stylish in Shakespeare’s time, this writer’s bravura took his sonnet far beyond the trend.

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