The Dark Lady Essay

723 WordsApr 2, 20123 Pages
“Dark Lady” sonnets by William Shakespeare The sonnet can be seen as one of literatures greatest weapons where the meaning and portrayal of certain concepts spoken through the poems words (e.g. love or beauty) can blow your imagination away. The 2 most popular types of sonnets are the Petrarchan sonnet which has 14 lines with a problem posing octet and a solved sestet and the Shakespearean sonnet which consists of 3 quatrains. The majority of these poems(petrarchan and Shakespearean) are love poems for an unattainable woman receiving undoubted praise and adoration from a hopeful male lover. This sort of theme is seen in the Shakespearian sonnet 132 which I will now analyse. This sonnet is part of a “dark lady” series written by Shakespeare linking to the previously mentioned unreachable lady. In it we find classic examples of how a woman’s simple gaze can capture a man’s heart and dormant it so unintentionally, I presume. In the first line Shakespeare refers to “thine eyes [he] loves” and how it seems they “pity [him]”.This is a clear example of how the beauty of a woman’s eyes can seduce a man’s heart in believing he could venture into hers. This sort of pain is compared to death when he refers to the woman “[having] put on black” .This typifies the pain that men can feel and shows a somewhat excellent sensitive side that not only Shakespeare but other patriarchally born men of his time may have shared. Following these somewhat harsh words seen in the opening lines it can be noted this isn’t a normal petrarchan sonnet, instead it is labelled an anti-petrarchan sonnet due to its subtle attack on a unattainable idealized female. Shakespeare uses the senses as well as emotions cleverly in the poem. Although he knows this beautiful woman has no similar feelings towards him the man still can’t help but proclaim her beauty. In line 4 the poet shows just how

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