Sonnet 18 Comparison Essay

Sonnets 18 and 130

In Shakespeare's sonnets 18 and 130 he referred to two women that he

loved. These two sonnets shared similarities and yet contained many exciting

differences.

The clear similarity is that they are both about two women. He loves both

of them very much. It seems that they make his days pass easier when in sonnet 18

he says, "So long lives this, and this gives life to thee". Likewise, in sonnet 130 he

remarks that he loves to hear her speak and "Yet by heaven I think my love as rare,

As any she belied with false compare". In both sonnets he uses personification by

saying "black wires grow on her head" and "Shall I compare thee to a summer's

day?".

One of the main differences in the sonnets was in sonnet 18 the woman he

was referring to was physically beautiful. On the other hand, in sonnet 130 the

woman was not so pretty yet he still loved her as much. For instance in sonnet 18

he says that she is more lovely and temperate then a summer's day. Yet, in sonnet

130 he says that her breath smells and her hair looks like wires. Still he loves her

just as much. Also in sonnet 130 he speaks of how he loves to hear her speak and

sing by saying "I love to hear her speak, yet well I know, That music hath a far

more pleasing sound...". He says nothing about the woman's voice in sonnet 18.

Further more, in sonnet 130 it is clear that the woman he speaks of is very poor

and most likely works for either him or someone close to him. However, in sonnet

18 it seems as though the lady is of equal state as he and has wealth.

The differences between these to stories make them interesting to

read and the similarities keep the reader wondering of who these two women

might have been.

"Courtly love." The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. Web.16 Mar. 2012.

Hale, James. "Sonnet 130." Masterplots II: Poetry, Revised Edition (2002): 1-3. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 16 Mar. 2012.

Mabillard, Amanda. An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18. Shakespeare Online. 2000. Web.16 Mar. 2012

---. An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. Shakespeare Online. 2000. Web.16 Mar. 2012

"Mistress." Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. Web.17 Mar. 2012.

Shakespeare, William.”Shall I Compare Thee…”Literature: A Portable Anthology.Second Edition. Ed. Janet E. Gardner, et al. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. 465-466. Print.

Shakespeare, William.”My Mistress’ Eyes…”Literature: A Portable Anthology.Second Edition. Ed. Janet E. Gardner, et al. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. 467. Print.

“WilliamShakespeare.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 16 Mar. 2012.

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