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Shakespearean sonnets

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					Sonnet 130
William Shakespeare

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,        1
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.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,         5
But no such roses I see in her cheeks.
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks,
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound.         10
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.


1. In Sonnet 130, what physical characteristics of the mistress are described? What is the overall
impression of this woman?




2. How does this poem compare to Sonnet 18? Is his tone different in this sonnet? Explain.




3. Why is the couplet at the end absolutely necessary for the poem to not be misinterpreted?
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Directions: Re-read the sonnet and try to paraphrase each quatrain and the closing couplet. As much
as possible, try to capture the main idea of each part of the sonnet, using your own words.

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73
1    That time of year thou mayest in me behold
     When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
     Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
     Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
5    In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
     As after sunset fadeth in the west,
     Which by and by black night doth take away
     Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
     In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
10   That on the ashes of his youth doth lie
     As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
     Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
     This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
     To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

first quatrain
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second quatrain
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third quatrain
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closing couplet
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posted:10/30/2011
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