Is Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare a love poem Why or why not?

Asked By: Pusa Waagener | Last Updated: 25th May, 2020
Category: books and literature poetry
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Line By Line Analysis of Sonnet 130. Sonnet 130 stands alone as a unique and startlingly honest love poem, an antithesis to the sweet conventions of Petrarchan ideals which were prominent at the time. Shakespeare doesn't hold back in his denial of his mistress's beauty. It's there for all to see in the first line.

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Beside this, why is Sonnet 130 a love poem?

Sonnet 130 is a kind of inverted love poem. It implies that the woman is very beautiful indeed, but suggests that it is important for this poet to view the woman he loves realistically. False or indeed “poetical” metaphors, conventional exaggerations about a woman's beauty, will not do in this case.

Likewise, how is Sonnet 130 different from other poems? It is a love poem about an unknown woman whom Shakespeare describes as his mistress. “Sonnet 130” is different from most love poems in the fact that it can be interpreted in two different ways. This poem can be seen as a satirical and funny sonnet, or it can be viewed as a serious poem that expresses true love.

Similarly, you may ask, what does Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 mean?

Summary: Sonnet 130 This sonnet compares the speaker's lover to a number of other beauties—and never in the lover's favor. Her eyes are “nothing like the sun,” her lips are less red than coral; compared to white snow, her breasts are dun-colored, and her hairs are like black wires on her head.

Who is Sonnet 130 addressed to?

the dark lady

35 Related Question Answers Found

What does breasts are dun mean?

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If snow is white, then her breasts are a brownish gray; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. If hairs are like wires, hers are black and not golden.

What are the elements of a sonnet?

Sonnets share these characteristics: Fourteen lines: All sonnets have 14 lines, which can be broken down into four sections called quatrains. A strict rhyme scheme: The rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet, for example, is ABAB / CDCD / EFEF / GG (note the four distinct sections in the rhyme scheme).

What is the main idea of the first quatrain of Sonnet 130?

What is the main idea of the first quatrain of Sonnet 130? The speaker considers his love less attractive than objects in nature.

What do the last two lines of Sonnet 130 mean?

Here are two lines in plain English: the speaker thinks that his lover is as wonderful ("rare") as any woman ("any she") who was ever misrepresented ("belied") by an exaggerated comparison ("false compare"). These last two lines are the payoff for the whole poem. They serve as the punch-line for the joke.

What poetic devices are used in Sonnet 130?


  • Internal rhyme.
  • Sound Devices:
  • Alliteration.
  • Assonance.
  • My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
  • Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
  • If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her.
  • I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,

What is the mood of Sonnet 130?

The tone conveys the mood of the poem. For me, the tone of sonnet 130 is mocking. This is an interesting sonnet, in that even though the speaker is describing his lady love, he seems more concerned with slamming the cliched descriptions usually used to describe a love in poetry.

What is the best summary of the central idea of Sonnet 130?

What is the best summary of the central idea of "Sonnet 130”? The speaker believes that his beloved is beautiful and amazing beyond compare. The speaker praises traditional poetry and celebrates its power to express true love. The speaker mocks the ugliness of his mistress and wants to end their relationship.

Does Shakespeare admire his lady in Sonnet 130?

In "Sonnet 130," Shakespeare describes the woman he loves as a real person instead of exaggerating her beauty. At first, his description seems almost insulting. He says that her eyes are dull -- not bright like the sun. She's a mortal woman and he recognizes her flaws and shortcomings.

What is the main theme of Sonnet 130?

In Sonnet 130, the theme "Women and Femininity" is connected to the idea of appearances. This poem is all about female beauty and our expectations and stereotypes about the way women ought to look.

What is the central idea of the sonnet?


The central idea of the sonnet is The speaker thinks that his muse is forgetful and lazy and wastes a lot of time.

Is Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare a love poem?

Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 is a parody of the kind of insincere, sickly sweet love poems that authors have been writing (and a lot of people have been hating) for centuries. Now, don't get us wrong, we're not anti-love poetry and we can get into the sappy stuff sometimes too.

What does Damasked mean in Shakespeare?

In this quote, "damask'd" means patterned or streaked red and white. Some scholars speculate Shakespeare is making an allusion in this line to the War of the Roses, with the white and red rose being symbols of the houses of York and Lancaster.

What is Shakespeare's definition of love?

William Shakespeare puts forth his definition of what makes love true in his untitled sonnet beginning with “Let me not to the marriage of true minds.” Shakespeare does not deny other views of love, but instead insists on a certain characteristic of love: love is rigid and crucial to endure life.

Did Shakespeare invent the sonnet?

The Shakespearean sonnet breaks into three quatrains, followed by a couplet, rhymed abab cdcd efef gg - as the name suggests, this is the form Shakespeare used for his sonnets, although he did not invent it.

How is the message in Sonnet 130 different from the message in Sonnet 18?


In “Sonnet 130,” the women is compared to the sun, snow, roses, and others. The main difference in the messages of these poems is the fact that in “Sonnet 18,” Shakespeare makes the woman eternally known through his poetry, but in “Sonnet 130,” she is obviously very human, but that is what he loves about her.

What is the structure of a Shakespearean sonnet?

A Shakespearean or English sonnet has fourteen lines, consisting of three groups of four lines each, followed by a single rhyming couplet. The rhyme scheme is abab cdcd efef gg. Every (or nearly every) line will have ten syllables, divided into five feet of two syllables each.

Where is the turn in Sonnet 130?

In a Shakespearean sonnet, the volta occurs between lines 12 and 13, so in “Sonnet 130” it appears just before the concluding lines. The volta is signaled by the change from alternating rhymes to a rhyming couplet: “rare” and “compare” create a concluding rhyme to set this section apart from the rest of the sonnet.