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‘My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun’ by W. Shakespeare Essay

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Updated: Mar 14th, 2020

The speaker in the poem ‘My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing like the Sun’ by Shakespeare, is a man trying to find the exact reason for the immense love that he feels for his lover. The speaker honestly admits that even though his lover has many flaws, he is still madly in love with her. The speaker fully understands the shortcomings of his lover but still admits that he loves her just the way a man can love any other woman.

The language used by the poet is one that seeks to portray his lover as an ordinary woman who has won his love. A poet is probably a man who has stayed with his woman lover for some time to the extent that he understands her weaknesses. He speaks of a love that is deeper than just a mere attraction of superficial beauty. This fact points out that theirs is a mature love that values what is on the inside and not the outside of a person.

The speaker seems to speak out his thoughts at a time when he is meditating about his lover and the love he has for her. The poem creates a picture of the poet sitting in a quiet place and contemplating this issue. The thoughts of the speaker seem to be provoked by a possible disagreement between him and his lover. This poem indicates that there is nothing special about her.

Further, she has nothing out of the ordinary that makes him stay with her other than his love. The main theme that comes out in this poem is love. The speaker describes his love for the woman as one that is not attached to her outer beauty. It is therefore evident that his lover lacks the essential features that are normally emphasized by other poets. She is a simple woman who has won his love.

The theme of reality is also emphasized in this poem. This is evidenced where the speaker chooses to be realistic with his lover’s physical appearance. Instead of heaping false praises on her beauty, the poet boldly declares that she cannot be compared to other beautiful things in nature.

The speaker exhibits the hypocrisy in other men who attach magical and unimaginable beauty to their lovers. The speaker says that although he does not falsely praise his lover, he still loves her in the greatest way possible. He, therefore, does not see the need for lying about his lover’s beauty because it will not change the fact that he deeply loves her.

If anything, the speaker prefers to be honest with his lover so that she can be aware that he loves her just the way she is. The lover should not be envious of false praises heaped on other women by their lovers but rather learn how to appreciate the genuine love that she gets from the poet.

The audiences in the poem are people who live in a society where poets unrealistically praise their mistresses. The speaker, therefore, gives them something different when he decides to lay bare his mistress’ flaws rather than praising her for the beauty that she lacks. Other characters in the poem are the men who praise their mistresses for the magical beauty and elegance that cannot be fathomed.

The poet aims at correcting this insincere habit of the poets. The poem is a portrayal of the poet’s attitude to his mistress. It is structured in such a way that the speaker juxtaposes his lover’s beauty and other natural beauties such as the sun, coral and snow. His lover’s beauty falls short of the natural beauties in every instance (Vendler 67). The speaker first presents his lover’s shortcomings and then concludes by confessing his love for her.

This structure helps the poet to achieve his purpose by describing his genuine love for his mistress. The poet is compelled to speak about this issue because he is repulsed by the other poets who are not being realistic with their lovers’ beauty. He wants to show them what real love is like. The main point that comes out is that if one truly loves his mistress, then he should be honest with her beauty.

The speaker, by being frank about the beauty of his lover, is an indication of honesty. This is what most men lack. It is also evident that the speaker believes that true love is not defined by the physical appearance of a person but the character. The speaker in the poem is motivated by the need to change the hypocrisy of other poets as far as speaking about the beauty of their loved ones is concerned.

This need propels him to emancipate everybody on the significance of being genuine and the futility of exaggerating the beauty of their mistresses. Finally, the poem uses iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme followed is AB-AB/CD-CD/EF-EF/GG. This is evident at the end of each line in the poem. The use of this rhyme scheme makes the poem easy to read by enhancing its flow.

Works Cited

Vendler, Helen. The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1997. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "‘My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun’ by W. Shakespeare." March 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/my-mistress-eyes-are-nothing-like-the-sun-by-w-shakespeare/.

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