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What are the literary terms in sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare?

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rozh | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 2, 2012 at 2:48 AM via web

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What are the literary terms in sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare?

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 2, 2012 at 4:31 AM (Answer #1)

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In Sonnet 130, Shakespeare is making fun of the literary clichés that were commonly used in love poems, the similes and metaphors used to describe female beauty so frequently that they no longer seemed sincere but routine and uninspired. Female eyes were compared to the sun, lips to coral, breasts to snow, cheeks to roses, breath to perfumes, voices to music, and bodily movements to the supernatural grace of goddesses. In the last line, “As any she [i.e., any woman] belied with false compare,” he is saying that poets who use such exaggerations in love poems are lying, and perhaps suggesting that such lovers are not to be trusted by women, making himself by inference sincere and trustworthy.

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