Sonnet 130 is one among the many fourteen lined romantic poetry by William Shakespeare. In the narration, the author compares variable essences of physical beauty, flawlessness, and value to show his measure for love he holds for his mistress but none quantifies to what he feels. The speaker tries to correspond his mistress with the earthly worthiness but cannot find a similarity to his feelings for her. Therefore, this paper will seek to prove the sonnet's argument that love cannot be defined using demonstrative examples from the poem.
The comparisons the speaker in the poem makes of his love and the looks and characteristics of his mistress with the different superficial elements he uses to signify that love lack proper definition and comparison. The introductory line compares the mistress' eyes with the sun as a symbolic representation of life essence but does not compare to arouse the expectations of natural beauty. In the second line, he compares her lips' color with coral to show the perfection of creation which does not match the mistress' perfect toning of creation. Further, in the subsequent lines, the speakers explore different characteristics that define beauty and perfection in the eyes of man, but his mistress has none. This description of the physical and personality statue of the woman registers no appealing features in the eyes of man; nevertheless, the speaker strongly proclaims he loves her anyway. The comparison of beauty and worth brings to light the incomparable definition of love. The feeling of love is so strong to evoke similarity and quantifiable measure that discourages comparison of women to any objective views. For instance, the last line of the poem shows that love does not accord to definable measure in the eyes of the beholder for it's a beautiful inner value that cannot be quantified by visual amount but a proclamation for perceived glow.
In this poem "Sonnet 130" Shakespeare distances the definition of love from mutual admiration of intellect and standardized measure for none characterizes the feeling that so strong defines love in its abundance. The speaker demonstrates that reducing women's worth to their appearance does not identify the properties of love that goes more in-depth and beyond behavior and physique. Conceptualizing of the feeling that beats all odds and short fallings in character and appearance of the mistress changes nothing on the love the speaker affectionately feels for her. The indefinable sense that shows love and affection between two parties shows the consistency of relish despite imagery concerns to show blindness of love. The symbolic and immortal connection of respect regardless of physical appearance showing Shakespeare's perception of the safe ground reassured by loving an imperfect person to appeasing the heart. The incomparable features of love with undefined source lack proper explanation of the motivator of love and the stronghold of this uncharacterized feeling.
The exemplified definition of love in the poem shows lack of defined elements of loving or being loved. In line nine, the speaker says that: "..I love to hear her speak..." this shows that loving relishes an element of the holistic personality to entice another to fall in love. In this admission of love, the speaker in the preceding line says that her voice is not as beautiful as music. The symbolic representation of perfection of sound shows that though her voice is not melodically sound, he loves to hear her speak anyway. This example is a demonstrative feature to show that love cannot have a proper definition.
Clough, William R. (2006). To Be loved and to Love. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 34(1), 23 - 31.
Shakespeare, William (1609). Shakespeare's Sonnets: Never Before Imprinted. London: Thomas Thorpe.
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