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Word Count: 883
William Shakespeares My Mistress eyes are nothing like the sun also known as Sonnet 130 is a poem written by a man describing the ways in which his mistress is not a goddess Shakespeares poem though not obvious at first glance is a love poem This poem parodies the conventional love poem The poem at first glance seems to be insulting the authors mistress but through antithetical cultural and connotative codes as well as analysis of key words using the Oxford English Dictionary we can come to understand what the author is really saying about his mistress The word mistress is an important key word in this poem Though only used three times it helps to set the tone for the entire poem The Oxford English dictionary describes a mistress as a woman having control or authority This is a praising term If Shakespeare had intended to insult the woman of this poem he could have used a more demeaning term instead this term gives her a status and authorityThe context of this poem could be understood from the first line Shakespeare writes My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun If the reader were to just read this line of the poem and walk away they would assume this is a poem of a man complaining The word sun connotes brightness brilliance and warmth and the author is claiming his mistress eyes are none such But he is not insulting her he is simply stating a fact his mistress eyes while they may be pretty cannot be compared to the sun He continues with more connotation and antithetical code in line 3 where he writes If snow be white then her breasts are dun Snow connotes purity is blinding whiteness is thought to be beautiful It definitely contrasts with dun which according The Oxford English Dictionary is a murky brown color Rather than think hes calling her dirty the reader could take this as
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