Beauty in the Eye of a Poet

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“Beauty in the Eye of a Poet”
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”- Kahlil Gibran. Comparatively between “Sonnet 130”, by William Shakespeare and “The Harlem Dancer”, by Claude McKay, they are English sonnets with fourteen lines or stanzas, and the rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Both sonnets use metaphors, imagery, and sense of tone to describe female beauty. The speaker’s admires female beauty, yet in different viewpoints. Shakespeare uses nature to compare his lover, being that she isn’t the ideal significant other. He compares her to something she is not. He was not physically attracted to her, but to him her flaws are what made her beautiful. Correspondingly, McKay saw the hidden beauty and emotions of a female dancer or performer. Although both poems are about female beauty, the speaker’s attitudes are different from one another.
Both sonnets use odd metaphors. The speakers’ love to hear the sweet sounds as the females spoke, comparing them to music. “I love to hear her speak, yet well I know that music hath a far more pleasing sound” (Shakespeare). Similarly, “Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes blown by black players upon a picnic day” (McKay). Throughout Shakespeare’s sonnet, he uses metaphors to compare his lover to nature. Viewing his significant others flaws from her eyes, lips, cheeks, breath, and voice being falsely compared to the beauty of nature. Shakespeare states that her voice isn’t so pleasing, so we imagine that it is likewise raspy, rough, or even deep. Not to mention he views all her unique ways and admits that he loves to hear her speak. This signifies that he loves her just the way she is, flaws and all, setting a more realistic view of his lover. McKay on the other...

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.... Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face. It’s about having a pretty mind, pretty heart, and most importantly, a beautiful soul. Shakespeare’s speaker saw his lovers’ imperfections and flaws as being her beauty. He knows that no female is flawless, perfect, or the ideal significant other. He loves her just the way she was. On the other hand, McKay illustrates a beautiful woman’s looks being gazed upon rather than her performance. He seen the forced smile on her face, and understood her. Both poets admire female beauty but in two distinctive ways, in either case, they both came to the conclusion that there is more to female beauty. After all being pretty hurts.

Works Cited

McKay, Claude. "Bartleby." . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb 2014. .
Shakespeare, W.. N.p.. Web. 21 Feb 2014. .
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