Added: Antonette Colmenero - Date: 03.10.2021 02:33 - Views: 39769 - Clicks: 5383
Ornamental head-dresses of the period often contained gold wires, so that it was quite normal to compare lush blonde hair with the gold wires in the head-dress above. Blonde was fashionable then, as now. The mistress, however, has black and not blonde hair. Damask roses were a sweet-smelling variety popular at the time. The word was not used then with our heavily negative sense, but more neutrally.
Sonnet refers to her, even though we do not know her name. This is an unconventional love poem. It was very customary, following the conventions set up by the Italian lyric poet Petrarch —74 , to write sonnets praising the beauty of the woman you were in love with. This kind of sonnet would form a list of her beautiful features of face and figure, variously praising her eyes, lips, cheeks, teeth, breasts, etc. Of course, the custom was to say how beautiful and marvellous each feature was.
Shakespeare turns all these conventions upside down. The sonnet, then, presents us with a series of inversions. Her cheeks are not as beautiful in colouring as damask roses 5—6. Her breath is not particularly sweet-smelling 7—8 ; her voice is normal and not musical 8—9 ; her walk normal too, not like that of a supernatural goddess.
Nonetheless, the poet admires her beauty, suggesting that she is really beautiful, but adamant that he is not going to be drawn into a game of falsely praising that beauty. Sonnet is a kind of inverted love poem. It implies that the woman is very beautiful indeed, but suggests that it is important for this poet to view the woman he loves realistically.
The poet wants to view his mistress realistically, and praise her beauty in real terms. Yet, even as a graceful game, Shakespeare seems unhappy with such conventions. The way he debunks, or sends up these exaggerations suggests a kind of realism that has a deeper moral value.
His poem is more gracious and genuinely complementary by, on the surface, apparently being more negative. He surpasses the conventional complements by showing up their exaggerated nature, and so implies the real loveliness of his mistress. This alternating rhyme scheme marks out the three quatrains and then the ending couplet.
Our society tends to use conventions of sincerity at the same time as we also sanction extreme or ludicrous exaggeration as in adverts for example. In this sense, this is a witty poem. He recalls a series of conventional ways of praising beauty only to overturn them and make them seem gently ludicrous.
She has lips redder and lovelier in colour than coral. Is it sexist? Or playful? Or graceful and elegant? Or a mixture of two or three of these qualities? And then, how do you feel about the way Shakespeare evokes these conventions and then sets about overturning them?
Does Shakespeare avoid sexism by exposing the conventions as silly? Or is he really just trading on their force? How humorous is the poem? In ancient times, a mortal was supposed to be able to recognize a goddess by her particular manner of walking. Search for: Search Looking for a course? Use our course finder instead. Coronavirus advice and guidance. Sonnet Glossary 1 My … sun : i.
You were supposed to be able to recognize a goddess by the way she walked. Belied : misrepresented. Compare : comparison. Suggestions for teaching and appreciation Our society tends to use conventions of sincerity at the same time as we also sanction extreme or ludicrous exaggeration as in adverts for example.
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10 timeless poems by Rabindranath Tagore