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  • 1.SONNET 130William Shakespeare

2. LESSON OBJECTIVES Identify the form of a traditional sonnetsthrough analysis. Understand the terms used to describe thefeatures of sonnets. 3. STARTER ACTIVITY. This poem is about love and writing- howcomparisons used by lovers (and poets) are oftenunrealistic. Make a list in your books of all the romanticcomparisons that the poet denies. Example:Her eyes are not like the sun. 4. CONTEXTWilliam Shakespeare wrote Sonnet 130. All of Shakespearessonnets go against the traditional Petrarchan sonnets. PetrarchanSonnets are love poems, which idolize a character called Laura.Petrarch praises Lauras beauty, worth and perfection, a mixture ofover the top and theatrical metaphors are used to describe Laura.At the time of Shakespeare the genre of Petrarch sonnets hadgrown stall and clich. Sonnet 130 presents a more realistic view onlove.Shakespeares first 126 sonnets are addressed to an unnamed youngnobleman; this is unusual because sonnets tended to be addressed towomen. The other sonnets are addressed to a mysterious woman.The speaker in the sonnets to the woman loves, hates andsimultaneously lusts for the mysterious woman. It was unusual forsonnets at this time include feelings of hate and lust. This sonnetcould have appealed more to lower class people who would not havehad the time or money to make themselves into a fashionable beauty. 5. CONTEXT AND MEANINGDuring the Elizabethan times fashionable woman wouldspend time and money on looking trying to look beautiful.The Elizabethans believed that beautiful women were blueeyed, fair-haired, pale skinned with red lips. Lower classpeople who would have certainly agreed with the messageof this poem, that love and beauty are not necessarilylinked. Sonnet 130 mocks the Petrarchan sonnets bysuggesting that it is ridiculous to compare someone tosomething, which is beautiful because you may be leftdisappointed if you find your lover does not measure up towhat they are being compared to. Sonnet 130 is amusingbecause the speaker takes the Petrarchan metaphorsliterally and he literally compares his love. However, whenthe speakers love does not compare well the speaker tellsthe audience his honest opinion about his love. 6. THEMES AND IDEASThe main idea running through the poem isthat people do not need to be beautiful tobe loved or to be in love. In the poem thepoet compares his love to many beautifulthings (sun, snow, roses), although she doesnot measure to up these things the speakerstill loves her. Shakespeare can be said toparody the traditional content of thesonnet and expose its hyperbolic promises.Love was a common theme in sonnets. 7. SONNET CXXXWILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616)My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun;The tone of theCoral is far more red, than her lips red, first threeIf snow be white, why then her breasts are dun:If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head: quatrains isI have seen roses damaskd, red and white, negative and we getBut no such roses see I in her cheeks; the impress thatAnd in some perfumes is there more delight,the speaker isThan in the breath that from my mistress reeks.dissatisfied withI love to hear her speak, yet well I know his love.That music hath a far more pleasing sound:I grant I never saw a goddess go -My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare,As any she belied with false compare. 8. SONNET CXXXWILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616)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: The poem is drawnI have seen roses damaskd, red and white, into a conclusion inBut no such roses see I in her cheeks;And in some perfumes is there more delight, the last two lines byThan in the breath that from my mistress reeks.use of a couplet byI love to hear her speak, yet well I knowheaven, I think myThat music hath a far more pleasing sound: love rare here theI grant I never saw a goddess go - poet concludes thatMy mistress when she walks treads on the ground. he loves her althoughAnd yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare, she is not fashionableAs any she belied with false compare. beautiful. 9. MEANINGThe main messages of this sonnet is thatsomeone does not need to be beautiful to be loved,love is rare and it should be valued and peopleshould not expect love to be how it is presented inpoems. 10. FORM AND STRUCTURERHYTHM This poem is written in Iambic Pentameter. 5 feet (pairs of syllables) Each foot has an unstressed , followed by astressed syllable. This gives the poem a regular rhythm 11. FORMShakespeare does follow traditionalEnglish sonnets as Sonnet 130 as 14lines and it follows the rhymingscheme ABABCDCD etc. By using thetradition rhyme scheme of EnglishSonnets, Shakespeare can be said tobe using it to parody the hyperbolicnature in which poets expressed theirlove for others. 12. Each box is a foot.Each foot has an unstressed and a stressed syllableEach line has 5 feet.If snow be white why thenher breastsare dun;If hairsbe wires black wires grow onher head; 13. Q1. WHY ARE THE STRESSESREVERSED IN THE FIRST FOOT OFTHE SECOND LINE? Coral = stressed then unstressed syllable The reverse stress emphasises how unnatural thiswould be in reality, by interrupting the naturalrhythm of the line. This is an example of form imitating meaning. 14. Q2. IS THERE A CHANGE IN STRUCTUREBETWEEN THE FIRST FOUR LINES ANDTHE NEXT EIGHT? At first, each comparison takes up 1 line. Then the comparisons take up 2 lines. Effect? Develops the tone of parody in the eightline section. 15. Q3. WHICH WORD IN LINE EIGHT ISPARTICULARLY STRONG ? reeks Effect: to emphasise that the poem is a parodyof romantic sonnets, it mocks the language(beautiful is replaced with ugly: wires andreeks) The plosive sound, k sound in the word reekescreates a cacophony effect, which reflects theunpleasant content of the first three quatrainsand the unpleasant description of the lovesbreath 16. Q4.WHAT WORDS IN LINE NINEREVEAL THIS IS A LOVE POEM? I love to hear her speak, 17. Q5. WHAT ROMANTIC NOTION DOESLINE ELEVEN-TWELVE DENY? walking on air denies she glides along gracefullyas a goddess. 18. Q6.WHAT WORDS IN LINE THIRTEENEXPRESS THE POETS STRENGTH OFFEELING? he swears by heaven 19. Q7. WHY IS THE RHYTHM IRREGULARIN LINE THIRTEEN? The thought is different in the heroic couplet.The rhythm emphasises the change. Does the rhyme scheme change? How does the layout in lines 13/14 change? This is a second example of form imitatingmeaning. 20. Q8. WHAT IS THE POET SAYING INTHE FINAL COUPLET? Hislover is as rare(special/extraordinary) as any woman. She is so extraordinary, that the poetdoes not need to exaggerate her beautywith false comparisons. Any woman to whom she is compared willbe shown to be false, because perfectionis a myth. He loves her imperfections. True and lasting love is based in realismnot idealism. 21. POETIC FEATURES The poet uses parallelism to compare his love to the standards of ladies inPetrarchan poetry If snow be white, why her breasts are dun. The effectof the parallelism is it makes the contents of the poem clear and theaudience knows exactly why the poet dissatisfied with his love. There is a lot of negative imagery in this sonnet. By creating imagery thennot continuing with it and then describing a new image, Shakespeare buildsup the poem and brings it back down, creates drama and keeps the readersinterest as they want to know where the poem will go next. The effect of the tripling damaskt, red and white, builds up the beauty thepoet has seen in the rose. By building up the beauty in the rose, it causes asharp contrast between the rose and the poets love, who does not measureup when compared to the rose. In this poem as in many poems roses symbolise romance. In this poemShakespeare uses the rose to compare idealised romance I have seeneRoses damaskt to reality no such Roses see I in her cheeks.