How does the use of diction impact Sonnet 130?

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In Sonnet 130, Shakespeare's diction, including the use of inverted sentences and unflattering imagery, satirizes traditional sonnet writers like Petrarch who idealize love. Instead of presenting his mistress as a paragon of beauty, Shakespeare depicts her with realistic and even unappealing attributes. Despite these descriptions, the speaker's love for his mistress is portrayed as genuine and rare, thereby subverting the norms of the sonnet form and lending authenticity to his sentiments.

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Shakespeare uses imagery to convey his impressions of his mistress. For example, he says that her eyes do not resemble the sun and that the color of her breasts is "dun." He writes that "black wires grow on her head." Rather than using lofty images, he uses imagery that conveys that his mistress is far from ideal. He also uses a number of inverted sentences, which refers to sentences in which the predicate comes before the subject (as opposed to the usual order in which the subject comes before the predicate). An example is "And in some perfumes is there more delight." The inverted nature of his diction has the effect of making the entire poem a kind of satire. Rather than stating what his mistress is, he states what she is not. By using this type of diction, Shakespeare is satirizing traditional sonnet writers such as Petrarch, who write about ideal love. In the end, Shakespeare's sonnet is perhaps a more powerful testament to his love. Though he uses down-to-earth imagery and inverted lines, he states at the end that his love is rarer than the ideal women to whom she does not measure up. In other words, he loves her even though she's real and not ideal. 

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Shakespeare's diction in Sonnet CXXX mocks the language of the Petrarchan sonnet that employs elegant comparisons. In contrast, with this sonnet the poet describes what his love is not, thus providing a parody of the sonnet model.

The speaker of Sonnet CXXX describes his love in the most unflattering language: Her eyes are not stunning, her lips are not red, and her breasts are not white, but are, instead, dun-colored. The speaker further flaunts the conventions of the sonnet sequence with such lines as these:

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. . . 
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

Rather than writing about his love as an ideal as in the traditional sonnet, Shakespeare uses diction that indicates his use of parody. This diction also serves another purpose as it lends verity to his ideas. For, when he declares his love for his "mistress," his words ring much truer than if he were to use the flowery language of a traditional Petrarchan sonnet:

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Indeed, the use of unflattering diction indicates the reality of the speaker's love when he declares the rarity and genuineness of his feelings for his "mistress," who lacks many of the stellar qualities of the Petrarchan mistress.

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