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The Parody and Satire in Sonnet 130
Sonnet 130 is a classic example of a sonnet written in 1 stanza, using an iambic pentameter, separated into three quatrains and a final couplet. The rhyme scheme is a standard English or Shakespearian pattern of alternating abab cdcd efef gg. This kind enables a natural progression of emotions to a culminating finale statement, encompassing his stance on the theme. The interest to type is also evident in his use of assonance repetition of the “I” sound such as “white” (l.3) followed immediately by “why” (l.three) or the use of Alliteration with “H” sounds such as “hear her” (l.9). This gives the poem a flow of stressed and unstressed sounds, dictating it is musical cadence. It is a Lyric Poem, as it is brief, expresses a sturdy emotion in a condensed type and retains a musicality when study.
When the poem opens with “My mistress’ eyes are nothing at all like the sun” (l.1), it quickly establishes the ironic tone consistently employed all through the poem. The simile of his love’s searching “nothing like the sun”, is in opposition to the stylized customs of “Courtly Love”. In reality, Shakespeare continuously contradicts the clichés frequently used to describe one’s beloved by parodying her apparent lack of compliance to the norm. He compares her “dun” (l.three) skin to the “snow” (l.three), her lacklustre lips with “Coral is far much more red than her lips’ red” (l.2), or her bland cheeks by stating “But no such roses see I in her cheeks” (l.6), stressing the truth that she is not fair as a gorgeous lady ought to be or possibly alluding to a lack of passion on her component. Pale skin, rosy cheeks and golden hair have been deemed the epitome of beauty throughout the English Renaissance Era. He utilizes a metaphor of “black wires” (l.4) to describe her hair, further alienating her from Petrarch’s “She Utilised to Her Her Golden Hair Fly Free” relating Laura’s hair with “A celestial spirit, a living sun” (l.12). 1 can also draw a comparison with Laura’s hair becoming an entity of its’ own, practically alive, whereas the “dark lady’s” hair is lusterless.
Shakespeare’s use of alliteration with the “H”, suggest a connection to the “dark lady’s” somewhat unpleasant breath. Sounding the poem out loud enables a single to completely grasp the quantity of air forcefully propelled out when repeating those sounds. This is also denoted when he says “Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.” (l.eight), however he stresses the fact that he feels considerably “delight” (l.7) in the “perfumes” (l.7) of her exhalation. The final couplet is redeeming the speaker by announcing that in spite of all of her imperfections, he loves her. Shakespeare’s passion for this lady defies even his expectations and suggest that it could be a connection beyond the physicality expressed in Petrarchan inspired poetry. He emphasizes this point by announcing “And but, by heaven, I consider my love as uncommon, As any she belied with false compare” (l.13-14). The entire poem comes to an apotheosis with Shakespeare contradicting the conventions of adulation and expressing the unexplainable nature of his adoration. The “dark lady” is therefore immortalized in her uniqueness.
The robust imagery employed in this poem generate an intense satirical impact. The biting remarks of his “dark lady” although parodying the “Courtly Love”, is meant to express his deep devotion regardless of her failing to meet each and every single desirable standard. His adore is completely blind. The focus to her dark characteristics may possibly allude to her unchaste character, as in the course of the Elizabethan Era (and all through most of the Middle Age), darkness was frequently linked to moral corruption in opposition to fairness representing purity. This dark side might also represent his perceived unhealthy obsession with a morally questionable woman. He acknowledges her shortcomings but can not assist himself from becoming fully besotted by her. The final impact is therefore not of denigration, but of wholesome praise for his beloved.
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