Shakespeare Sonnet 130 Analysis: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun

Shakespeare Sonnet 130 Analysis, Theme, Summary and modern English translation

Recommended

This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 130. Continue reading for complete analysis and meaning in the modern text. For the complete list of 154 sonnets, check the collection of Shakespeare Sonnets with analysis. It is highly recommended to buy “The Monument” by Hank Whittemore, which is the best book on Shakespeare Sonnets.

Shakespeare Sonnet 130 (Original Text)

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 damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some pérfumes 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.
WIKI

Shakespeare Sonnet 130 Modern English (Translation)

-via SparkNotes

Shakespeare Sonnet 130 Analysis

The poet says that his mistress’s eyes are not as bright as the sun “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;” and even a red coral stone is brighter and redder than her lips “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;” and when snow is white colored, her breasts instead are brown “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;” and if hairs are like wires, then it appears as if black wires are growing on her head “If If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head;”

He says he has seen roses both red and white “I have seen roses damasked, red and white,” but his mistress’ cheeks do not resemble the rosy hue of a rose “But no such roses see I in her cheeks;” and though some perfumes smell sweeter and stronger “And in some pérfumes is there more delight” than the breath of his mistress which reeks “Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.”

He says that he loves hearing his mistress speak “I love to hear her speak, yet well I know” even though he knows that music is sweeter to listen to “That music hath a far more pleasing sound” and he has never seen a goddess move “I grant I never saw a goddess go;” and all he has seen is his mistress who walks on the ground “My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.”

He says his mistress and love is a rare one “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare” and she is as special as those women who poets have always made false comparisons of beauty “As any she belied with false compare.”

Recommended Gifts