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Shakespeare's My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun

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Shakespeare's My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun Many authors compose sonnets about women whom they loved. Most of these authors embellish their women's physical characteristics by comparing them to natural wonders that we, as humans, find beautiful. Shakespeare's "My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun" contradicts this idea, by stating that his mistress lacks most of the qualities other men wrongly praise their women for possessing. Shakespeare presents to one that true love recognizes imperfections and feels devotion regardless of flaws, while satirically expressing his personal thoughts on Petrarchan sonnets. Through the use of comparisons, the English sonnet and an anti-Petrarchan approach, he creatively gets his point across. "My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun" uses comparisons to express Shakespeare's idea of love as opposed to lust. A lustful man would focus on a woman's pleasing physical characteristics, such as white breasts, beautiful hair, red lips, and fragrant breath; however, Shakespeare's mistress possesses none of these great characteristics. Shakespeare, instead, uses metaphors to express her physical shortcomings. "Coral is far more red than her lips' red" (line 2) describes his mistress' faded lips. "If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head" (line 4) shows the coarse, unkempt and dark color of her hair. "And in some perfumes is there more delight than in the breath that from my mistress reeks." (Lines 7-8) expresses his mistress' dire need for a breath mint. These comparisons give one a vivid description of his mistress' lacking beauty, and sets one up for the couplet at the end of... ... middle of paper ... ...manner, making them focus primarily on the lacking, yet lustful, physical attributes of his mistress. When he writes "And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare as any she, belied with false compare." (lines 13-14) in the final couplet, one responds with an enlightened appreciation, making them understand Shakespeare's message that true love consists of something deeper than physical beauty. Shakespeare expresses his ideas in a wonderful fashion. Not only does he express himself through direct interpretation of his sonnet, but also through the levels at which he styled and produced it. One cannot help but appreciate his message of true love over lust, along with his creative criticism of Petrarchan sonnets. "My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun" truly shows why many regard Shakespeare as a literary genius.
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