Critiques of Sonnets: Sonnet 130 and The Theme of Pain
The purpose of this essay is to compare my original sonnet “A Man’s Pain” with Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130: “My Mistress’ Eyes”. A critical analysis of both poems indicates that they are connected only by their poetic form and general dedication to love, but are very different in other aspects such as mood, subjects, poetic language, etc.
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 relates to 28 sonnets written by him and addressed to a mysterious black-haired, black-eyed and generally dark-featured woman (Simpson). The sonnets dedicated to the mistress referred to also as a dark lady allows to understand that she constantly betrays Shakespeare (Jackson, 273). Although the image of that woman can be interpreted as sophisticated and romantic, in Sonnet 130 Shakespeare reveals her as a simple human being (“Shakespeare Sonnet 130”). The sonnet is addressed to the mistress, which makes it an example of intimate or love poetry. However, the general mood of the sonnet is closer to parody rather than to a serious message to the woman he loves, since the poet subverts and reverses the conventions of the love sequence established by Petrarch (Dubrow, 531). Therefore, Sonnet 130 is a parody of the traditional love sonnet established as a separate genre by Petrarch.
On the other hand, my original sonnet “A Man’s Pain” is written in a realistic serious manner. Generally, its theme is love as well, however it is depicted differently. In Shakespeare’s sonnet love is pictured through the object of it – the mistress, while in mine it is viewed from the point of pain, which can be one of the possible results of the feeling of love. While the tone of the Sonnet 130 is positive and rather ironic, I have written my sonnet in a minor tone. However, this sadness is not overwhelming, since there is also the last line (I must learn that great love always forgives”), and forgiveness is a positive experience, it makes people better. Therefore, these factors define the general mood of my sonnet. Besides, as it was already mentioned, both sonnets are dealing with the general subject of love, however the Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare is focused on the object of love, while “A Man’s Pain” by me is focused on the issue of pain brought to a man by love.
William Shakespeare uses a traditional language for sonnets in his Sonnet 130 (“Shakespeare Sonnet 130”). His language is poetic, it is full of bright tropes and poetic comparisons, which, however, play against themselves. The poet uses phrases and constructions conventional for love sonnets such as “eyes … like the sun”, but used with the sense of negation (“Shakespeare Sonnet 130”). In such a manner, there are traditional comparisons of lips with red corals, of breasts and white snow, of roses and cheeks, etc. used in the sonnet unconventionally. Thus, there are such lines as “Coral is far more red than her lips red”, “If snow …