Saturday, May 21, 2011

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lip's red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun,
If hair be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
In some perfumes there is more delight

Than the breath with which my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know,
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.
This is a sonnet. All sonnets consist of fourteen verses. Also, each verse has ten syllables. The stress pattern is weak, strong, weak, and strong. Each pattern of weak and strong syllables gives us a foot, so we can say that each verse has five feet. This sonnet is therefore in iambic pentameter.
The rhyme scheme of the sonnet is as follows: a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, e, f, e, f, g, g. The last two verses rhyme, which is typical of the Shakespearean sonnet. The rhyme scheme of the sonnet is highly regular as is the case with this one.
In this sonnet Shakespeare compares his mistress' eyes to the sun. He makes the case that her eyes are very different from the sun. Though the sun is beautiful and glowing, it has little in common with his mistress' eyes. Though they may be beautiful, reality is that they can't be compared to the sun.
Likewise, other parts of nature are very different from parts of his mistress. For example, coral has a very different shade of red from his mistress' lips and no roses are present in his mistress' cheeks. This differs from the words of some men who claim that their women have the light of the sun in their eyes, coral lips and rosy cheeks. Shakespeare expresses that though men might make these comparisons, they aren't accurate, at least not when he gazes upon his mistress. When he speaks of perfume, he notes that at times her breath reeks. Many perfumes have a sweeter fragrance.
Shakespeare expresses the reality that one's breath isn't always perfect and one doesn't always look spectacular. Over time the attraction that brings people too closer can wane. In fact, physical attraction isn't constant nor stable. For this reason, a couple needs much more to remain together.
Though the sonnet may appear to be negative, it has positive words towards the end. It clarifies that although reality can be quite different from our dreams and desires, or that relationships have their ups and downs, he knows that his love for his mistress is intense. He describes it as rare and makes it clear that he doesn't need to make false comparisons about her to know that in his heart he has tremendous love for her. Some men may utter false words, but he doesn't need to because he accepts her as she is and is truly in love with her.
In Shakespeare's "My Mistress' Eyes are nothing like the Sun", he explains that he can't make false comparisons about his mistress. He's been with her a long time and knows her well. Though her eyes are nothing like the sun, it is of no consequence because he knows that his love for her is rare. He prefers to show his love for her through his actions rather than through false words.

Sources: › ... › Literature › William Shakespeare-05.05.2011

D.N. Aloysius

No comments:

Post a Comment