How can I compare and contrast Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 130? How are they similar or different when talking about the theme of appearance?
Sonnet 18 is a more traditional take on love and beauty than Sonnet 130. It famously compares the speaker's beloved to a summer day: like summer, their youthful beauty will be brief before it gives way to age. However, because the speaker is writing about their beauty in the poem, in a way their loveliness will never fade. The speaker is using extreme contrasts to hammer home that the object of his devotion is fantastically gorgeous.
In contrast, Sonnet 130 is famous for its twist on the such conventions of love. Instead of flattering his lover, the speaker claims her beauty is not equal to such extreme things as snow or roses. He claims she is not like a "goddess" either since when she walks she "treads on the ground" rather than on air (11, 12). The turn at the end of the sonnet shows that he does not care that his lover is not perfect because she is still precious to him.
Both poems ultimately downplay the despair over the beloved not meeting perfect standards. In 18, the beloved will...
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