What different figures of speech are in Shakespeare's Sonnet 130?
Shakespeare employs a negative simile when the narrator says that his "mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun." In other words, he will not flatter her by comparing her beauty to objects to which it cannot possible measure up, unlike most typical love sonnets which make such lofty, untruthful comparisons. Shakespeare employs a metaphor when the narrator says, "If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head." He compares her hair to wires, rather than flatter her by comparing it to something more luxurious and less plausible. He does employ visual imagery when he describes the "roses damasked, red and white," though he cannot claim to see roses in his lover's cheeks. The narrator considers comparing his lover's voice to music and her walk to a goddess' tread, but he stops short of actually using a figure of speech to do so because she really cannot compare in either case. His point is that he...
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