Sonnet 130

There is a reason that we did not publish any of the poems that sprung from the mind of one of the Greatest (notice the capitalization) when it comes to poetry. This was simply because we were contemplating if we were able to analyse the work of this great writer and poet to the full extent. This is our analysis of Sonnet 130 written by no other than William Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare painted by John Taylor in 1610.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.

William Shakespeare

Does he need an introduction? William Shakespeare (1564? – 1616) is probably one of the most famous writers in all of history. When it comes to his literary legacy, there are no boundaries. People from all over the world have read the work of this Englishman.

Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, Othello, Romeo and Juliet…. The list is so very long. It is probably every poet’s dream to be remembered as we remember Shakespeare.

Sonnet 130 is written around the turn of the seventeenth century and was first published in 1609. This sonnet was part of the Shakespeare’s Sonnets. In this poem, Shakespeare addresses the Dark Lady. The same lady as the main subject of his Dark Lady Sonnets. These sonnets or poems are more explicit than other sonnets, meaning: more sexually heated.

In Sonnet 130, the poet mocked the commonly written poetry that was based on the work of Francesco Petrarca, the lyrical poetry. Shakespeare steps away from the conventional poetry of his time. These conventions dictated that women should be placed on a pedestal. This iconic work is quite provocative (for his time) and a rather amusing poem to read.

Shakespear’s Sonnet 130 did not only went straight in against the poetic standards. He was going for an approach that there wasn’t something as ideal beauty. This was his answer to those who wrote using clichés and became predictable.

Sonnet 130

Sonnet 130


My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
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,
But no such roses see I 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.
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.


— William Shakespeare

Sonnet 130
Article Name
Sonnet 130
Sonnet 130, written by William Shakespeare, is a poem that broke with the traditional poetry of the seventeenth century.
Publisher Name
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs

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