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My Mistress

  • Word Count: 727
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William Shakespeare was one of the first developers of the English Sonnet. His style is powerful and that is why he is considered to be one of the best poets of all time. The sonnet “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” is no exception. Shakespeare’s use of structure, diction, rhyme, contributes towards developing the meaning, form, and content of the poem.
“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” is a poem in which Shakespeare forms an argument against common love poems that use flattery to praise a lover’s beauty. He uses the example of a woman whose physical appearance is not perfect to emphasize that love is deeper and more important than the comparisons made by most other poems of his time. For example, in line one he writes: “my mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.” Had Shakespeare used the writing style of other poets, he would have written something like: “her eyes shined as brightly as the sun.” This poem clearly shows that his lover isn’t the prettiest woman alive, but the love he has for her is still strong.
In almost every line of the poem a picture of a perfect woman is presented and then quickly taken away and replaced by one that is less attractive. For example, in line 3, it states “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun”. This line makes us picture a beautiful, snow-white woman. This is probably because we are so accustomed to love poems describing exactly that. But then that picture suddenly vanishes at the end of the line, leaving us with a woman with dull, dark breasts.
In line 11, the poem reads “I grant I never saw a goddess go: My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.” This suggests to us that his mistress is completely human, and gives the reader the idea that some of the normal comparisons are unrealistic. The last two lines of the poem, “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare/ As yet she, bellied with false compare” put together ...

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My Mistress. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:25, February 08, 2016, from