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Word Count: 398
ANALYSIS Sonnet 130 is Shakespeares rather lackluster tribute to his Lady commonly referred to as the dark lady because she seems to be non-white black wires for hair etc The dark lady who ultimately betrays the poet by loving other men appears in sonnets 127 to 154 Sonnet 130 is clearly a parody of the conventional and traditional love sonnet made popular by Petrarch and in particular made popular in England by Sidneys use of the Petrarchan form in his epic poem Astrophel and Stella If you compare any of the stanzas of that poem with Shakespeares sonnet 130 you will see exactly what elements of the conventional love sonnet Shakespeare is light-heartedly mocking In sonnet 130 there is no use of grandiose metaphor or allusion -- he does not compare his love to Venus there is no evocation to Morpheus etc The ordinary beauty and humanity of his lover are what is important to Shakespeare in this sonnet and he deliberately uses typical love poetry metaphors against themselves In Sidneys work for example the features of the poets lover are as beautiful and at times more beautiful than the finest pearls diamonds rubies and silk In sonnet 130 the references to such objects of perfection are indeed present but they are there to illustrate that his lover is not as beautiful -- a total rejection of Petrarch form and content Shakespeare utilizes a new structure through which the straightforward theme of his lovers simplicity can be developed in the three quatrains and neatly concluded in the final couplet Thus Shakespeare is using all the techniques available including the sonnet structure itself to enhance his parody of the traditional Petrarchan sonnet typified by Sidneys work But Shakespeare ends the sonnet by proclaiming his love for his mistress despite her lack of adornment so he does finally embrace the fundamental theme in Petrarchs sonnets -- total and consuming love One final note Shakespeares reference to
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