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Analysis of the Sonnet: My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun

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Analysis of the Sonnet: My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun
The poem “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun” by William Shakespeare talks about how the speaker sees his mistress’ appearance. He describes this mistress using the traditionally used characteristics that make a woman beautiful. Instead of pointing out the best traits that makes his mistress physically beautiful, the speaker portrays his mistress in a more realistic way, with characteristics that are believable. The poet uses a specific style, a descriptive comparison method, to communicate his message.
This sonnet rhymes ababcdcdefefgg, which shows that it is a typical English sonnet as described by Vale (2010, p.84). With this form, the speaker was able to describe his mistress in a seemingly negative way. He describes her as not as beautiful as the objects that a woman’s beauty is traditionally compared to, but as the opposite. With this form, simple diction and poetic syntax, the poet creates a serious mood in the poem which perfectly communicates his message.
The poet uses a descriptive comparison style to communicate his message. He picked descriptions that usually are used to compare certain features of a woman’s beauty, and then contradicts them with this mistress’ features. He chooses specific features that, perhaps, he believes they best show a woman’s beauty. These are: the eyes, lips, breasts, hair, cheeks, breath and voice. This has begun right at the beginning, in the title of the poem, “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun.” This suggests that the speaker does not see her mistress’ eyes as beaming and glowing, in other words, as beautiful or as a source of light as the sun. Her lips are not so beautifully red; perhaps the speaker implies that they are not decorated with make-ups as he says that “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red” (l 2). Her breasts are compared…...

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