An interesting analysis of one of my favorite sonnets.

Interesting Literature

A commentary on Shakespeare’s 130th sonnet

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 (‘My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun’) has to be one of the top five most famous poems from the sequence of 154 sonnets, and it divides critical opinion. Is this poem a touching paean to inner beauty (opposed to superficiality) or is it misogynist trash? The jury is still out, as we’ll see. Anyway, before we proceed to our analysis of this divisive poem, here is Sonnet 130.

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress…

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