Compare and contrast Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 130.

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In Sonnet 18, the speaker describes how the person he addresses is more sweet, temperate and fair than the beauty he sees in nature. He even notes how the sun is sometimes dim and how nature’s beauty is sporadic.

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

The speaker concludes that the beauty of the person he’s addressing is not so fleeting because it will live as long as there are people to read this sonnet. His beloved’s beauty last longer than nature because it is immortalized in verse. This lifts her to a goddess-like status.

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this and gives life to thee.

In Sonnet 130 , the speaker takes an oppositional or ironic approach. He notes how his beloved does not compare to the beauty he sees in nature. Music is more pleasing than her voice. Coral is more red than her lips. The speaker is chastising other poets who describe the one they love with exaggerations that are so over the top, they...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 579 words.)

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