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Response to Sonnet 130

Updated on October 4, 2013

Plagiarism is bad!

Please use this as an example only. I'm posting my personal reading responses because I've met so many people, even in college, that don't know how to write them. There are many different kinds of reading responses; this is one version.

Not sure if this is the origination but it is where I found it.
Not sure if this is the origination but it is where I found it. | Source

He Loves Her, He Loves Her Not

The speaker of William Shakespeare’s sonnet (presumably Shakespeare) begins by telling the audience that his mistress has dull eyes. He says that her lips and cheeks are pale, her skin is grey, and her hair is just a bunch of wires on her head. He goes on to say that her breath stinks and her voice is not nearly as nice as music. He finishes his description by telling the audience that her walk is nothing like a goddess’s walk. He ends the sonnet by saying, even after all of her so called faults, he still loves her.

The quality that I find the most interesting about this poem is that it was written in sonnet form. From a formalist point of view, this poem is nearly a perfect example of a sonnet. While it was written in sonnet form, one could argue that this is not a ‘true’ sonnet because it does not have all of the defining characteristics of a sonnet. It is fourteen lines long, and it does follow a normal sonnet rhyme scheme of A-B-A-B-C-D and so on. It also has a very good example of a turn in line thirteen. “And yet, by heaven, I think my love is rare” This is where the speaker stops critically analyzing his lover and confesses his love for her. Other than the last two lines, the poem seems to be missing an important element.

Normally, a sonnet is a type of love poem. At first glance this poem does not seem to meet that requirement. In fact it seems like the opposite of a love poem. The audience is only told at the end of the poem, in line thirteen, that the speaker actually loves the hideously described mistress. Even though he is criticizing her throughout most of the poem, those final lines speak the loudest to me in terms of affection. The speaker is saying that he realizes she has flaws and that she is not perfect. By writing this poem he is accepting those flaws and professing his love for her.

© 2012 info-overload


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