Sonnet 130 ~ My mistress` eyes

Report
Two Sonnets
Sonnet 130 - My mistress' eyes William Shakespeare
Untitled Poem – I Am Very Bothered Simon Armitage
Starter 1a
• Write down four things you would expect to
find in a love poem.
Starter 1b
• Write a rhyming couplet that uses some or all
of the things from your list.
Learning Objectives
As we study these poems you will learn:
• the story of the poems
• More about the terms,
Sonnet: Iambic Pentameter: Blank Verse:
Sensory (Sound & Smell) Imagery: Tone
• You will also complete some Mini Tasks, an
assignment and a test on the poems.
Sonnet 130 ~ My mistress' eyes
(1609)
William Shakespeare
Sonnet 130 ~ My mistress' eyes (1609)
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 damask'd, 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 ~ My mistress' eyes (1609)
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 damask'd, 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.
Vocabulary
Dun: a dull, grayish brown.
Damask’d: the pink colour
of the Damask rose.
Belie: To show to be false;
contradict or misrepresent
Vocabulary task: Copy out the definitions of the three words above:
The Story Of The Poem
MINI TASK 1
1. Write down what you think the poet is saying in the poem.
2. What you think is unusual about what he says.
3. Write down any individual words that strike you as odd and briefly
say why you thought them unusual.
The Story Of The Poem
MINI TASK 1
1. Write down what you think the poet is saying in the poem.
2. What you think is unusual about what he says.
3. Write down any individual words that strike you as odd and briefly
say why you thought them unusual.
1. The poet compares his lady-love to a number of beautiful things,
but never in his love’s favour.
2. What is unusual is he uses unflattering comparisons to demonstrate
his love. Her eyes are “nothing like the sun,” her lips are less red
than coral; compared to white snow, her breasts are dun-coloured,
and her hair is like black wires on her head. He even says that her
breath “reeks”. In the final couplet, however, the poet declares that
he thinks his love as rare and valuable “As any she belied with false
compare”—that is, any love in which false comparisons were
invoked to describe the loved one’s beauty. And this final couplet
makes this truly a love poem as the poet loves this lady despite her
imperfections.
The Story Of The Poem
MINI TASK 1
3. Write down any individual words that strike you as odd and briefly
say why you thought them unusual.
3. The words you might have found ‘odd’ include:
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 damask'd, 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.
Most of these are
negative or very
unflattering terms.
The Structure Of The Poem
Composition
The poem is written in Sonnet form which is a love poem that has a
has a regular rhyme scheme and is written in fourteen lines.
MINI TASK 2:
1. What is the rhyme scheme for the poem?
2. Count the number of syllables on each line.
a) What do you notice?
b) What is the effect of this?
The Structure Of The Poem
Composition
MINI TASK 2:
1. What is the rhyme scheme for the poem?
The rhyme scheme is 6 alternate rhyming couplets and a
final rhyming couplet, or ABABCDCDEFEFGG and....
2. Count the number of syllables on each line.
a) What do you notice?
Each line contains 10 syllables. This form is known as
Iambic Pentameter.
b) What is the effect of this?
The effect of this is to give the poem a very even
rhythm and tempo.
The Structure Of The Poem
Key Feature
The key feature of this poem is IMAGERY. In fact the poem is a list of
images used to describe the poet’s mistress.
MINI TASK 3
Write down a list of the images used in the poem
The Structure Of The Poem - Key Feature
MINI TASK 3
Write down a list of the images used in the poem
The key feature of this poem is IMAGERY. In fact the poem is a list of
images used to describe the poet’s mistress.
•Eyes not like the sun:
•Red Coral …pale lips
•White snow… tanned breasts
•Black wires for hair
•Red & white roses.
•Pale cheeks
•Perfumes (smell imagery)….smelly breath.
•Corse/harsh voice (sound imagery)
•A goddess
•Treading (trudging) on the ground
….and all of this goes to show how the poet’s mistress does not
conform to the Elizabethan idea of beauty.
MINI TASK 4: What do you think Elizabethan idea of beauty is?
Elizabethan Beauty
The Elizabethan view of pure beauty was a woman with light hair and a
snow white complexion complimented with red cheeks and red lips. A
pale complexion could only be achieved by a woman of the upper class.
White face make-up was applied to acquire the pale look.
The favoured application of the upper classes was a make-up called
ceruse - a mixture of white lead and vinegar. It was poisonous!
Lower class women were expected to work
outside and thus acquired a suntan which made
their skin ‘dun’ coloured. The pale complexion
was therefore a sign of wealth and nobility - an
immediate identification for a person from the
upper classes. This alabaster complexion was the
also required by Elizabethan men! Queen
Elizabeth I helped set the trend for this notion of
ideal beauty which explains the oddly white face
seen in many of her portraits.
The Structure Of The Poem
Rhythm , Tempo & Tone
The tone of the poem seems serious and the rhyme scheme plus the
use of iambic pentameter gives the poem a very even rhythm and
tempo.
Yet the poem is also humorous as the final couplet comes as a ‘surprise’
after all the disparaging comments made in the first 12 lines. In fact the
whole sonnet is a parody of the conventional love sonnets written by
Shakespeare's contemporaries and it is almost a direct parody of
Francesco Petrarca’s (1304-1374) sonnet Gli Occhi Di Ch' Io Parlai:
Those eyes, 'neath which my passionate rapture rose,
The arms, hands, feet, the beauty that erewhile
Could my own soul from its own self beguile,
And in a separate world of dreams enclose,
The hair's bright tresses, full of golden glows,
And the soft lightning of the angelic smile
That changed this earth to some celestial isle
MINI TASK 5: Write down the definition of Parody.
PARODY =
a humorous or
satirical imitation
of a serious piece
of literature or
writing.
NOTE:
dun =
A grayish-brown color.
damask'd =
Damask is expensive multi-colored woven fabric used for clothing.
Damask is also the name of a rose renowned for its fine fragrance It is used in perfumery and to make rose water.
The Structure Of The Poem
Metaphor
MINI TASK 6:
Look at the poem and highlight or underline the metaphors
Shakespeare uses.
NOTE:
dun =
A grayish-brown color.
damask'd =
Damask is expensive multi-colored woven fabric used for clothing.
Damask is also the name of a rose renowned for its fine fragrance It is used in perfumery and to make rose water.
The Structure Of The Poem
Metaphor
MINI TASK 5
Look at the poem and identify metaphors in it.
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 damask'd, 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.
NOTE:
dun =
A grayish-brown color.
damask'd =
Damask is expensive multi-colored woven fabric used for clothing.
Damask is also the name of a rose renowned for its fine fragrance It is used in perfumery and to make rose water.
The Structure Of The Poem
Metaphor
So in Sonnet 130, there is no use of grandiose metaphor or allusion; he
does not compare his love to Venus, there is no declaration of eternal
love etc. The ordinary beauty and humanity of his lover are important to
Shakespeare in this sonnet, and he deliberately uses typical love poetry
metaphors against themselves.
Shakespeare then is using sonnet structure itself to enhance his parody
of the traditional sonnet.
Mini Task 7:
Explain what the final couplet means.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
NOTE:
dun =
A grayish-brown color.
damask'd =
Damask is expensive multi-colored woven fabric used for clothing.
Damask is also the name of a rose renowned for its fine fragrance It is used in perfumery and to make rose water.
The Structure Of The Poem
Metaphor
Mini Task 7:
Explain what the final couplet means.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
In these last two lines Shakespeare tells us he considers his love every
bit as rare and lovely as if she really did have all those goddess-like
attributes he tells us she does not possess.
So despite having ‘slagged her off’ for 12 lines of the poem Shakespeare
ends the sonnet by proclaiming his true feelings and love for his mistress
despite her lack of beauty. In so he does finally embrace the
fundamental theme in a sonnet: total and consuming love.

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