Compare and contrast Edmund Spenser's Sonnet 75 and Shakespeare's Sonnet 130.

Both Spenser's Sonnet 75 and Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 strive to make the objects of their love immortal. Shakespeare does this by comparing his beloved's beauty to certain features of the natural world and concluding that such comparisons are ultimately false. Spenser also presents his beloved's beauty as immortal, as transcending that of the natural world.

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In Spenser's Sonnet 75 and Shakespeare's Sonnet 130, we are presented with a vision of beauty that is transcendent, which rises above the natural world in which we live to become timeless and immortal.

In Sonnet 130, the speaker compares his beloved's beauty to certain features of the natural world such as snow, coral, and red and white roses. In each case, the beloved comes off worse by the comparison. However, that doesn't matter to the speaker, because he ultimately concludes that his beloved is beyond such false comparisons, an indication that her beauty is heavenly and transcendent, not of this world.

In Sonnet 75, the speaker writes his lover's name in the sand, only to see it washed away with each tide. Even though she evinces the desire not to live forever, the speaker is determined to ensure that his lover shall be immortalized in verse. And that is precisely what he does both here and in the other sonnets in the Amoretti sequence.

In both poems, we see an attempt by gifted poets to immortalize something mortal. The main difference between the two is that, in Sonnet 130, we don't get to find out what the beloved makes of the speaker's attempts to immortalize them. In Sonnet 75, on the other hand, the beloved is most insistent that the speaker is a vain man for attempting what she sees as a foolish, pointless endeavor. And yet the speaker plows on regardless, determined that

our love shall live, and later life renew.

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