Essays on Sonnet 130

Sonnet 130
Original title Sonnet 130
Author William Shakespeare


Language English
Characters No characters
Published 1609
ISBN 978-0743482752
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

About Sonnet 130 Book:

Sonnet 130 was composed by William Shakespeare in 1609. In this book, he ridiculed all the concepts of beauty and courtly appraisal of mistresses by presenting the true picture of the speaker’s mistress. Shakespeare bluntly satirizes the conventions of beauty, ideal beauty, as defined by literature by making an extensive comparison of all the objects of beauty with his mistress.

Sonnet 130 is a Shakespearean sonnet containing three quatrains proceeded by a couplet that is rhymed. The emblematic rhyme scheme followed is the regular ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. It is composed in an iambic pentameter, with a trace of a mirror ionic (reversal of lines). Another outstanding feature of this sonnet is its “turn,” a moment where the tone or the theme is changed surprisingly. 

The sonnet’s title seems to have no name, but it is assigned a number. It is important because it is placed in the order it was published, and according to the scholars, this sonnet belongs to the sonnets that scholars feel refer to a “dark Lady,” as we can observe references to black hair and skin tone.

Book Summary

For the sake of understanding, the poem could be sectioned into parts. In the first part (from lines 1 to 8) of Sonnet 130 Shakespeare introduces the speaker’s mistress. “Mistress” was a common word that referred to someone’s love interest.

He says that his darling’s eyes are nothing like the sun. He says that the red corals are far redder than her lips and continues comparing her bosoms to snow, calling out that snow is the whitest of whites, but her skin is” dun,” which refers to a grey-brown skin tone.

The speaker comes to her hair and describes them with strong objects like black wires, which are grown from the head. Probably it is his way to describe the frizz in her hair and that her cheeks are not delicate as the intricate patterned red and white roses.

In lines 7 and 8, the speaker praises the beauty of aroma, which is delightful but more soothing and finer to feel than his lover’s breath. She seems to have a bad breath or gives out a bad stench.

In the second section, the speaker begins by admitting that his beloved’s beautiful company and discourse is an amazing moment. Still, with the use of ‘yet,” he forwards a turn in, saying music is more enchanting and more pleasing than the sound of her speech.

In lines 11 and 12, the speaker admits to never seeing a goddess move, but he is sure to say that at least his mistress is not a goddess. He calls her a normal human being who walks and performs normal life activities.

In the final lines, he comes to the point saying that his dear is who she is and not the one who is misconstrued by false and overstated contrasts.

Sonnet 130 Quotes:

Some often-quoted lines from the sonnet are as under:

“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far redder than her lips’ red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.”

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks

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.

Essay Structure on Sonnet 130:

After a brief introduction and summary, you can advance and put your creative writing into practice, right? Here in this section, we will enlighten you on the structure of writing an essay. To write your essay, you need to keep in mind that an essay has three parts, namely:


Recall your first day of school. You were asked to introduce yourself. A very similar thing is practiced in your essay’s introduction. Always remember the introduction builds an impression on your reader’s mind; therefore, you must be well versed in the art of writing the introduction to catch their attention.

The introduction must contain a hook and a thesis statement, the reason is that a thesis statement tells the reader what the entire essay is about. There are many ways of formulating a good thesis statement, but the general rule is that it should be specific and discuss one problem.

Body of the Essay

Whatever point you have raised in your thesis statement, your essay’s body is where you will be elaborating it extensively. You should write the body of an essay in the form of paragraphs, where each paragraph contains a topic sentence, which gives know-how to the reader about the subject of the topic.

The topic sentence is followed by supporting details, including the facts, figures, critiques, textual evidence, etc., and each paragraph must discuss only one idea. There must be cohesion and coherence in the ideas. Linking words or transitional devices will be a good practice to create links between paragraphs.

The Conclusion

The conclusion is the wrap-up of an essay. It gives the readers a gist of your essay. Therefore, it should be written meticulously, ensuring it does not miss any point discussed in the essay, and it is important to keep it precise.

You should include a topic sentence at the beginning of the conclusion, for which the introductory paragraph provides a good guide. And all the essay’s points are briefly summarized. If your conclusion appeals to the readers’ emotions, it would be a cherry on the top. And it must contain a closing line at the end.

6 Tips to Consider While Writing An essay about Sonnet 130

The Sonnet 130 analysis can help you write one of the best essays, as you can easily describe every event or happening! Although many techniques are widely practiced to draft a powerful essay, the following tips would be a great kick-start.

Read the Poem Thoroughly:

It is an important step because poetry needs to be studied deeply. After all, it has got layers of meanings. Once the poem is studied, the focus should be on the structure, like the rhyme scheme and the figures of speech used. More important is that you should study the poem’s background as it will allow you to understand the socio-politico background and hence helpful for interpreting the meaning.

Another important thing to consider is the characters and whether the characters are representative of someone. When you are clear about these points, you will be better able to express your thoughts, and your ideas will be deeper and more research-based.

Find a Compelling Topic

Ask yourself what makes a topic compelling. The answer is that a compelling topic is engaging, well written, has ample information, touches different aspects of the same thesis statement, makes the reader feel something, and makes them want to do something.

Understanding the features of a compelling topic is crucial to understanding how an essay is informative, entertaining, and inspiring. The learner’s interest and motivation level could decide on a compelling topic. A compelling topic is finely narrowed down, and it is unique. Even if it is extensively studied, it covers a new aspect.

Create the Outline

An outline is like an essay’s blueprint on which you will build the foundation of your essay. Creating a general outline will give you direction and guide you in arranging your ideas in order of importance; hence a sequence is established, which makes an essay more effective and reader-friendly.

An essay outline provides useful insight into structuring the essay so that the important points are not missed. It could be written in brief sentences and phrases for the points you want to discuss. And it involves planning, categorizing, ordering, and presenting the final plan.

Write the Thesis Statement

After hooking our reader to your essay, gradually introduce your thesis statement, so the reader is directed to understand the purpose of reading. If the essay misses the thesis statement, it will face a major setback. There will be an abrupt shift from the introduction to the body paragraph, which will lack the writer’s standpoint in the essay.

When the thesis statement is framed nicely, it is a guideline throughout the essay. What is more interesting is that it will hint at the essay’s topic and the writer’s opinions and judgment.

Include A Lesson Or A Moral

As already discussed, a good essay is engaging, informative, and appeals to the reader’s feelings. When you add a moral or a lesson to your essay, it hooks the reader to continue reading it.

It will enable the reader to take better decisions. It makes them become a better judge. It makes them stand morally and ethically upright. Therefore, it is important in an essay. 

Conclusion: Proofread Your Work

After finishing the essay, it is very important to revise the draft several times and look for typos and grammatical errors, including tense shifts and sentence structures. It takes multiple proofreads to come up with the complete draft. Additionally, if the students don’t have enough time to compose an essay about this poem, we can be their helping hand. The students can let us know, and we will write the best quality essay for them!

Frequently Asked Questions

    I.          What Is The Main Idea In Sonnet 130?

Sonnet 130 is a mockery of the traditional practice of appreciating beauty by extensively comparing the muse with the objects of beauty like the sun, the stars, colors, flowers, etc.

  II.          What Was Sonnet 130 Written About?

Sonnet 130 is a sonnet about inverted love. The notion behind it is that one should fall for their mistresses realistically and denigrate all the flowery and courtly language used in their praise.

   III.          Is Sonnet 130 About A Black Woman?

While reading the sonnet, one may find references suggesting the mistress is a black woman. Like her skin tone is dun, she has curly dark wire-like hair.

   IV.          Why Is Sonnet 130 So Famous?

The sonnet is famous because it is structured on Petrarch’s love sonnets, but the idea is completely different hence the name inverted love poem. The message it bears makes it remarkable and worth reading.

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