Textual Analysis Paper - Michelle Abercrombie English 103H-...

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Michelle Abercrombie English 103H- Section 30 Shakespeare Textual Analysis Shakespeare’s sonnets addressed to women are unique when compared with the traditional profession of love and appraisal of beauty from other authors in the same time era. The speaker in sonnets 130, 138, and 140 has a need for a deeper love than beauty can offer, yet cannot find such reliance and honesty in a woman. The speaker of the poems finds beautiful on the inside what others find repulsive on the outside, yet also discovers that a woman can be deceitful and spiteful. Shakespeare conveys his traumatic relationship with women through imagery, comparison and tones of superiority and mistrust. In the first sonnet, 130, Shakespeare uses the tone of superiority to convey the speaker’s opinion of his mistress. The addressee does not appeal physically to him and insults her appearance, naming a variety of things, “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun… black wires grow on her head… music hath a far more pleasing sound” (“130”, 3-9). By describing her physical features as ugly, the speaker positions himself as superior to her, implying that she is below his standards. Even through her unworthiness, he boasts of his love for her, claiming it to be deeper and more exceptional than any she has had, or pretended to have before him. At the end of the sonnet, the speaker reinforces his lowly opinion of his lover and high opinion of himself, “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare” (“130”, 13-14). The words “and yet” imply that despite the flaws she possesses, he has the ability to overlook the superficial attraction, towards her inner beauty. The speaker also implicates a
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course ENGL 103h taught by Professor Spallholz during the Fall '08 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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Textual Analysis Paper - Michelle Abercrombie English 103H-...

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