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Published by arnuwa_007, 2021-03-29 12:51:17


E 417-222: LITERARY APPRECIATION:Final Project















T h i s book was made as a part of 417-222, Literary

Appreciation subject in order to be a source of knowledge and
information for the readers and those who are interested in
poetry. It contains a breakdown and analysis of three poems on
the subject of “LOVE” which include “The Good- Morrow
by John Dohnne” “Sonnet 130 My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing
Like The Sun” “ How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Browning”
“I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You by Plabo Neruda”
and Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelly. We tried to keep
the book free of any mistakes, but in case one arises, we must
apologize for any of the errors. Lastly, we hope you will find a
useful piece of knowledge for your interest in poetr y.



- Paraphrase and Summary
- Setting
- Theme
- Main propose
- Tone
- Analysis
- Figurative languages
- Imagery
- Diction
- Prosody
- Form
- Criticized and evaluate
- Paraphrase
- Summary
- Line by line analysis
- Theme
- Tone
- Imagery
- Figurative languages
- Diction
- Prosody
- Form
- Criticized and evaluate

- Paraphrase
- Line by line analysis
- Summary
- Theme
- Tone
- Setting
- Imagery
- Figurative languages
- Diction
- Prosody
- Form
- Criticized and evaluate

- Paraphrase
- Summary
- Line by line analysis
- Theme
- Tone
- Imagery
- Figurative languages
- Diction
- Prosody
- Form and type
- Criticized and evaluate

- Paraphrase
- Summary
- Line by line analysis
- Theme
- Tone
- Imagery
- Figurative languages
- Prosody
- Form
- Criticized and evaluate
- Conclusion

- Performance video
- Reference
- Members of group


D o you believe in love? It is undeniable

that love is one of the most intense and powerful
things. Love is described as a beautiful emotion
that we can see in various aspects of our lives.
People can convey their love in many ways whether
through declaration or actions. A declaration of love,
also known as a confession of love, is a form of
expressing one's love for someone or something.
It can be presented in various forms, such as love
letters, speeches, or love songs. Furthermore,
you can express your love emotion to your partner
through writing love poems. Here are the poems
of love that can provide you some essential knowledge
about literary analysis of how we can read the poem.
There are five outstanding poems that presented
including The Good- Morrow by John Dohnne,
Sonnet 130 My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like
The Sun, How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Browning, I Do Not Love You Except Because
I Love You by Plabo Neruda, and Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelly. As well as a
discussion and cr iticism on these poems. Lastly, we hope you will find this book to be
a useful of knowledge for your interest in poetr y.




I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?

But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.

If ever any beauty I did see,

Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?

Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.

Paraphrase and Summary

What did you and I even do before we were in love? Were

we still breastfeeding? Did we only enjoy simple, childish things?
Or were we fast asleep with the Seven Sleepers? It’s true. But all
of this is just pleasure’s dream. If I ever wanted and gained
something beautiful, it was just a dream of you. And now good
morning to our souls, which are waking up. They do not watch
each other out of fear. There’s no need for jealousy; love makes it
so that we don’t need to look at anything except each other. And
it makes one small room as wide as the world. Let explorers cross
the ocean to discover new worlds. Let other people make maps,
charting worlds upon worlds. Let us have just one world: each of
us is a world, and so each of us has a world. My face appears in
your eye and your face appears in my eye. And the truth of our
hearts is visible in our faces. Where can we find two better globes,
without the cold of the north or the darkness that comes when
the sun sets in the west? When something dies, it dies because its
parts were not appropriately mixed. But our loves are so perfectly
matched that we have become one, and thus our love will not lose
its power, and we will not die.


The speaker of “The Good-Morrow” actively refuses to

engage with the world, preferring instead the satisfactions of an
intimate, loving relationship. But the speaker does not consider
this to be a sacrifice; rather, he or she focuses on the way that love
is, in itself, an adventure as satisfying and rich as any explorer’s
journey across the sea. Love, the speaker insists, “makes one little
room an everywhere.” It seems reasonable, then, to take the
speaker’s word when it comes to the poem's setting. It likely takes
places in just such a “little room”: the speaker and his or her lover
are lying next to each reflecting on the beauty and passion of their
love. The poem thus comes from a specific relationship in a
specific time and place. But the speaker does not provide much
information about that time and place, and he or she does not
allude to the historical or political events that surround the
poem’s love affair. This gives the poem a potentially universal
feeling: it could describe any relationship, in any time and any
place. Although the poem was written in a specific historical
moment—the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign in England, at the
end of the 16th century—its focus on the satisfactions of love
allows it to transcend this immediate setting and speak to nearly
any point in history.

Themes has now. “Good-morrow to our waking souls,” the
speaker announces at the start of stanza 2, as
Love as an awakening though the lovers had been asleep and are just
now glimpsing the light of day for the first time.
“The Good Morrow” is a celebration of love, which Since the sun is often associated with Jesus
it presents as an intense and unparalleled pleasure. Christ in Christian religious traditions and light
All the joys that the two lovers experienced before is often associated with enlightenment, the
they found each other pale in comparison to the joy speaker’s description of this experience is implicitly
they experience together. Indeed, love is so powerful cast in religious terms. That is, the speaker makes
that the speaker describes it as an awakening of waking up alongside a lover sound like a religious
the soul: it is almost a religious experience. And like epiphany or a conversion experience.
a religious experience, it reshapes the lovers’ attitude
to the world at large. Like monks or nuns who dedicate The consequences of this epiphany are also
themselves to religious practice, the two lovers dedicate implicitly religious. Having tasted the intense
themselves to love above adventure and career success. pleasures of love, the lovers give up on adventure
“The Good Morrow” thus translates romantic — and and exploration: instead they treat their “one little
erotic — love into a religious, even holy, experience. Love room” as “an everywhere.” In this way, they become
itself, the speaker suggests, is capable of producing like monks or nuns: people who separate themselves
the same insights as religion. “The Good Morrow” from the world to dedicate themselves to their faith.
separates the lives of the lovers into two parts: before Further, the lovers' devotion to each other wins them
they found each other, and after. The speaker describes immortality: “none can die,” the speaker announces
the first part of their lives with disdain: the pleasures in the poem’s final line. Immortality is more
they enjoyed were “childish.” Indeed, they were not commonly taken to be the reward for dedicated
even “weaned”: they were like babies. Like children, religious faith, not earthly pleasures like romantic
they had a limited understanding of life. They were love. In describing this relationship in religious terms,
aware of only some of its “country” (or lowly) pleasures, the speaker breaks down the traditional distinctions
going through the motions of life without knowing there between love and religion. Where many religious
could be something more. But once they find each other, traditions treat erotic love as something potentially
it feels as though their eyes have been opened. harmful to religious devotion, the speaker of

The speaker realizes that any “beauty” experienced
before this love was really nothing more than a “dream”
—a pale imitation—of the joy and pleasure the speaker

“The Good Morrow” suggests that erotic love leads to of married love specifically (like Anne Bradstreet’s
the same devotion, insight, and immortality that religion “To My Dear and Loving Husband”), “The Good Morrow”
promises. However, the speaker doesn’t specify the holds out an even more subversive possibility: that all
nature of the love in question. If the lovers are married, love is capable of producing religious epiphany,
for instance, the reader doesn’t hear anything about it. whether or not it takes a form that the Church
Instead, the speaker focuses on the perfection of their sanctions, like marriage.
love, noting the way the two lovers complement each
other. Unlike other poems that argue for the holiness

Exploration and adventure speaker, giving up the outside world is not a sacrifice.
Indeed, the speaker finds a better world in bed with
“The Good Morrow”was written during the Age of Discovery, this lover. Importantly, however, this "lovers' world" is
the period of intense European sea exploration lasting not totally separate from the wider world. Instead,
roughly from the 15th to 17th centuries. This context informs it recreates it in miniature, essentially resulting in a
the poem's second and third stanzas, with their focus on microcosm that reproduces the entire world itself
"sea-discoverers," "new worlds," "maps," and "hemispheres." within the lovers' relationship. The poem thus argues
The poem compares the desire to chart new lands with that true love can be a way of experiencing the
the pleasures of love itself, and finds the latter to be more entirety of existence. Essentially, there's no need
powerful and exciting. Indeed, the speaker finds love so to, say, seek adventure on the high seas, because
pleasurable that he or she proposes to withdraw from the everything is already contained within the experience
world in order to dedicate him or herself entirely to that of love itself.
love. Instead of seeking adventure, the speaker proposes
that the lovers “make one little room an everywhere.”
For the speaker, then, love creates its own world to explore.

Note how, in the poem’s second stanza, the speaker
proposes that the lovers renounce their worldly ambitions.
The speaker says that instead of crossing the oceans or
mapping foreign countries, they should stay in bed and
gaze into each other's eyes. Indeed, the speaker argues
in stanza 3, they will not find better "hemispheres" out in
the world than each other’s' eyes. This means that, for the

Main purpose

The speaker of “The Good-Morrow” is an anonymous lover. The poem does not provide much information
about this lover; the reader does not even learn the speaker’s name or gender (though almost all scholars assume
the speaker is male), nor the speaker’s class, profession, or nationality. Similarly, the poem refrains from giving its
readers much information about the speaker’s lover—though it seems that, whoever he or she is, the speaker does
not resent or resist the speaker. Unlike some of Donne’s other poems, like “The Flea” where the speaker pleads with
a recalcitrant lover, “The Good-Morrow” seems to describe a happy, mutually fulfilling love affair. In a way, the
anonymity of the speaker and his or her lover is fitting: neither of them has any identity in the poem outside of their
love for each other. “The Good-Morrow” is a poem about how love “makes one little room an everywhere.” Love,
the speaker argues, is as good as, if not better than, seeking one’s fortune and happiness in the outside world.
The speaker seems to take this argument to heart by allowing his or her identity to come entirely from love.
Beyond that love, the speaker is anonymous and indistinct, but within it, the speaker leads a life of vibrancy and passion.


Exuberant, introspective, philosophical The tone is light, informal, and highly intimate, with imagery drawn
from religion (Donne was a great preacher), science, and, most interestingly, cartography. Above all, Donne
speaks to his lover about physical love and its transformation to an undying spiritual love, very reminiscent
of one of his later poems to his wife, "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning." Many metaphysical poems are
framed on the if .


Stanza One

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?

But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.

If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

In the first stanza of ‘The Good-Morrow’, the speaker begins with three questions. They all inquire into the
state of his and his lover’s lives before they were known to one another. He wonders allowed, addressing his lover,
what “by my troth” (or what in the world) they did before they loved. This question and those which follows are rhetorical.
He does not expect a real answer. In the next line, he asks if they were “not weaned till then.” He does not believe
the two were truly adults, separated from their mother’s milk until they met. Their lives did not begin until they
gave up “country pleasures.” They became more sophisticated and less dependent on childish pleasures.
In the fourth line, he asks if they were sleeping like the “Seven Sleepers.” This is a reference to a story regarding
seven children buried alive by a Roman emperor. Rather than dying, they slept through their long entombment
to be found almost 200 years later. It is like the speaker has his lover were in stasis until they could be unearthed
at the proper time and brought together. The final three lines of the stanza answer his previous questions.
He says, yes, of course, everything he said is the truth. Anything he experienced before getting with this current
lover was not real. It was only a fancy.

Stanza Two

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

The second stanza is structured in a similar way in which the first four lines introduce a reader to another
aspect of the relationship. He describes how now, in their “good-morrow’ they will live in happiness together.
There will be no need to “watch…one anther out of fear.” Their relationship is perfect. In the following lines,
the speaker is proving that any temptation outside is worthless. His eyes are controlled by love, therefore
everything he sees is transformed by his adoration. He speaks of a small room that contains everything on earth.
There is no reason for him to leave the bedroom he shares with his lover. The next three lines make use of anaphora
with the repetition of the starting word “Let.” The speaker is telling his lover that now that he has this relationship
the rest of the world means nothing. The explorers can go out and claim anything and everything they want to.
He will be happy to “possess one world” in which they have one another.

Stanza Three

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?

Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.

The final stanza of ‘The Good-Morrow’ begins with the speaker looking into his lover’s eyes. There he can
see his own face and he knows her face appears in his eyes as well. Their heartfelt connection is evident within
their faces. The next lines continue to refer to their bodies/ Donne makes use of conceit, one of the techniques
for which he is the best know. In this case, he is comparing their faces to two hemispheres. Unlike the hemispheres
of the actual world, their facial hemispheres are perfect. There are no “two better” in the universe. There is no
“sharp north” or “declining west.” Donne’s speaker sees himself and his lover as soulmates, they are the other’s
missing half. The last three lines speak on how a lack of balance can cause death. This is likely a reference to
the medieval science of humors in which one’s health was determined by an equal mix of blood, bile, etc.
He uses this metaphor to make clear that their love is balanced physically and emotionally. Their perfect balance
is accomplished due simply to the presence of the other. It is the combination of their emotions that keeps them together.


The imagery present. For example, “wean’d” and “sucked” give us the image of a child being separated
from its mother. However, these words also evoke sexual images of breasts, which time into the sexual tone of
the setting of two lovers spending the night together. In line 4, “snorted” can refer to either the sounds an infant
makes while sleeping, or the overzealous laughter that young children often make when excited. Thus, giving
the word “snorted” an immature connotation.

Figurative languages


When the speaker bids “good-morrow” to “our waking souls,” he or she is likely being literal, inviting

the reader to imagine that the two lovers have spent the night in bed together and are watching the sunrise.
However, there are also several symbols associated with the rising sun. First, the sun can symbolize rebirth.
Second, it is closely associated with Jesus Christ, in part because “sun” and “son” sound so much alike.
Finally, it can also symbolize insight or enlightenment. Indeed, the word “enlightenment”—which means
“liberated from ignorance”—contains the word light. Overall, the “morrow” in this poem symbolizes the
experience of learning or realizing something so important that it feels like a religious conversion or profound
insight. The literal and symbolic senses of the “morrow” are thus linked together: because the lovers have
spent the night together, they now experience an awakening of their “souls,” which is so powerful it feels religious.

The speaker and his or her lover occupy a “little room” together—a place they find so fulfilling and full of joy

that the speaker proposes they abandon the rest of the world and stay there forever. This is likely a literal place,
referring to the room where the lovers have spent the night together before waking up to the "good-morrow." But
the "little room" also symbolizes the idea of poetry as a place of refuge. “Little room” is a literal translation of the
Italian word “stanza.” The word “stanza” is important in the study of poetry: it describes a group of lines that form
a smaller unit within a poem. With this understanding in mind, it seems that the “little room” may be more than a
literal place: it may be a symbol for the poem itself. In other words, it may be unreasonable to expect that the
“little room” will literally serve as an “everywhere” for the lovers—they will eventually have to leave it for some
reason or another. But the poem itself might serve as such a refuge for them, a place where they can enjoy their
love forever, without interruption.


Here, the image of the lovers' "hearts" serves as a symbol for their close emotional bond. The heart is the
organ that pumps blood—though John Donne didn’t know that. It wasn’t until after Donne's death that William Harvey
even proved that the blood circulated through the body. But Donne did know that the heart was central to the body,
important to health and life. He understood that in some sense, the heart was the core of the body, the thing on
which everything else relied. The speaker thus uses the heart as a symbol toward the end of the poem. In this
instance, the heart is not a physical organ (if it were, it couldn’t “rest” in the “faces” of the lovers).
Rather, it represents the truth of a person—their true character, undisguised and honest. For the speaker, to see
someone’s heart is to know who they truly are, and the symbol of the heart helps convey how intimately the lovers
know each other.


“The Good-Morrow” seems to take a place in the speaker’s bedroom after a long and passionate night.
As they watch the sunrise together, the speaker directly addresses his or her lover directly. Unlike many
love poems (including some of Donne’s own, like “The Flea”), the speaker is not trying to convince his or
her lover to have sex: the lovers already have. Theirs is apparently a happy, mutual relationship. This marks
a major break from the central traditions of Renaissance love poetry, which, although it frequently relies on
apostrophe, often addresses lovers who are distant, inaccessible, and thus unable to reply.

However, “The Good-Morrow” does preserve one key aspect of Renaissance love poetry: the speaker
monopolizes the poem. The speaker’s lover does not reply to the speaker, and the speaker shares no
meaningful details about the lover. Indeed, for all the reader knows, the speaker’s lover may feel quite
differently about their relationship. What's more, the speaker avoids engaging with the lover in a meaningful
way, using rhetorical questions instead of asking questions that might require the lover to answer.

The poem thus uses apostrophe throughout, despite the proximity between speaker and lover. Even if one
imagines that the lover is in the room with the speaker as the speaker pronounces the poem, the speaker
does not allow the lover to take part in the poem, whether to challenge or confirm the speaker’s account.


“The Good-Morrow” makes allusions to several

important traditions in Renaissance philosophy and religion.

In line 4, the speaker asks, rhetorically, if “we” “snorted…in

the Seven Sleepers’ den?” This is an allusion to a Christian

and Islamic tradition. According to legend, a group of young

people took refuge in a cave outside Ephesus around 250AD

to escape persecution for their Christian faith. They emerged

from the cave 300 years later, having been asleep the entire time.

With this allusion, the speaker suggests that the speaker and

the lover are like these pious youths: they have spent a long

time asleep and are now being rewarded for their piety with a

new life. The allusion establishes a parallel between the lovers'

erotic love and the youths’ religious piety, a parallel the speaker

will expand in the following stanza. In the final two stanzas of

the poem, the speaker also alludes to an important tradition in

Renaissance philosophy: the idea of the microcosm and the

macrocosm. Many Renaissance thinkers believed that the part

(the microcosm) and the whole (the macrocosm) reflected each

other. That is, one might find an image of the whole in the part.

Thus, for instance, the human body might serve as an image

of the whole universe. The speaker alludes to this tradition by

suggesting that the “one little room” might serve as “an everywhere.”

In their room, speaker and lover are not cut off from the world;

because the room is a microcosm of the world, it contains all

the pleasures and riches of the world within it. The speaker

makes a similar allusion when comparing the lover’s eyes to

“hemispheres.” Those eyes are like the world, since both are

globes. But, more importantly, they serve as replacements for

the world: they actually contain (and improve on) the world.


Implicit metaphor in lines 2-3 "Were we not wean'd till then? But suck'd on country pleasures, childishly?"
The state of the lovers prior to their falling in love with each other is identified with childhood. The explicit metaphor
would be "we were babies before we loved". There is another implicit metaphor in line 4. It runs much in the same
way as the other: "Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den?"

This time, the previous state of both lovers is identified with sleep. Explicitly: "We were asleep before we loved”.
Line 5: "But this, all pleasures fancies be".
Line 6-7: "…any beauty I did see...was but a dream of thee".
This metaphor is the direct consequence of the one inline 4: if the lover was asleep, it is altogether fitting that
anything he saw should be a dream. It is easy to see how these metaphors enhance the contents of the poem.
Line 8: "And now good-morrow to waking souls”.
This is another extension of the metaphors in lines 3 and 7. We have already seen that the first stanza deals with
the past, and that the metaphors were those of unconsciousness (childhood and sleep). The second stanza deals
with the present, with the lovers having discovered one another, and, accordingly, this is dealt with a metaphor of
waking in the first line of the stanza. "The "good-morrow" with which Donne addresses the two lovers could be
interpreted as a metaphor of the whole of the poem, if we suppose the latter to be autobiographical and as sincere
as it seems to be; the "good-morrow" in the poem is the lover's rejoicing because of the love he and his lady have
found in each other; "The Good- Morrow" (the poem) amounts to very much the same in real life. The title would
be fully justified.

Line 11: "Love makes one little room an everywhere".
This is in metonymy "lover = world". The outer world
is discarded and the little room becomes an "everywhere".

Line 16: "And true plain hearts do in the faces rest”
Sincerity is depicted as a heart "resting" on a face: no secret
intentions for the lovers; their faces show their hearts.
They are externally and internally just as true to one another.

Lines 17-18:
"Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west?"

The lovers were called "worlds" in line 14. Now the idea is rounded off; they are not worlds, they are
"hemispheres". This adds three notions to the previous idea. First, the lovers aren't complete by themselves,
they need each other. A hemisphere is a perfect metaphor for any incomplete thing. Second, once the lovers
are together, they form not only a complete body, but a whole world (the word "hemisphere" suggests half of
the world). Third, the being they form when they are together is perfect: perfection has been associated with
the spheric shape since Greek times (Democritus, Parmenides). So the world they form will have no
imperfections, no sharp north or declining west. "Sharp" may stand for quarrels between the lovers, and
"declining" for the gradual decay of love because of time. This last metaphor opens the way for the final conceit,
which states the idea in a bolder way: immortal love makes the lovers immortal.

This last metaphor is an implicit one. It is quite complicated, for it takes Donne three lines to develop it:
Whatever dies, was not mix'd equally;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I

Love so alike that none do slacken, none can die.
The first line (19) is, poetically speaking, rather superfluous, but it is necessary to make the reader understand
the nature of the metaphor that follows. It is an allusion to a scholastic theory concerning matter, which is based
on Aristotle's ideas on heavenly and sublunary bodies. According to that theory, heavenly bodies are eternal,
they don't change, while sublunary matter is composed of elements in endless changing combinations and
warfare. Sublunary matter cannot reach stability because it is not "mix'd equally". Donne applies this as a
metaphor of eternal love in lines 20-21. If the total love which is formed with the love of each of the members
of the couple is in perfect poise, that love will be a perfect body, a heavenly being, and it will never die.
If love can never cease, it means that the couple will go on living and loving each other forever. This image
is very typical of Donne, and a perfect sophism.


Line 6: "If ever any beauty I did see"

Beauty = beautiful woman. In fact, this is everyday speech. The same occurs in lines 8 (souls = minds, people)
and 16 (heart=mind, especially if in love). A far more interesting metonymy is developed in line 14:

"Let us possess one world; each hath one, and is one"
So, each lover is a world for the other. If I consider this a metonymy rather than a metaphor, it is because of
Donne's cultural background. At that time it was widely held - it was the traditional belief - that man was a
"microcosm": everything was ordered in the "macrocosm" or universe just as it was in man; fluids governed the
body just as elements governed the macrocosm; man's destiny was already fixed in the stars. Knowledge of the
world was knowledge of man, and vice- versa. So it was not difficult for a 17th-century man to think that a person
can assume the proportions of a whole world. Love makes the lover's attention focus on a part of that great whole.
The part is named with the name of the whole (metonymy).

Irony In line 10-11, “For love all love of other sights controls,
and makes one little room an everywhere.”
Arguably, Donne's use of religious themes in
order to extoll romantic love is an ironic choice, given Is an exaggeration because love itself is not an object,
his historical context, since convention held that love therefore it is physically impossible for it take up space.
of God was necessarily the "higher" form of love.
"our waking souls," where "souls" is used as a
"If ever any beauty I did see, / Which I desired, stand-in for the speaker and his lover as a whole.
and got, 'twas but a dream of thee": a hyperbolic
epression of the power of the speaker's love, which Paradox
relegates every other experience of beauty or desire
he has had to a "dream," i.e., a lesser manifestation of, The use of paradox is shown primarily through
his lover. the descriptions of sexual desire the speaker uses to
convey a sense of spiritual, rather than physical love
for his lover.


Troth (Line 1) - A strong oath of affirmation. “By my troth” means something like “On my honor” or “I swear it.”

Thou (Line 1, Line 20) - You. The word is obsolete now, but until the 19th century, English speakers had two ways
of saying “you”: “thou” and “you.” “Thou” was much more informal; it was generally reserved for intimate friends
and family members. The speaker’s use of it here indicates closeness and intimacy.

Weaned (Line 2) - No longer breast-feeding or relying on one's mother. The word can extend, metaphorically,
to mean something like “mature” or “grown-up.”

Country Pleasures (Line 3) - Literally, the phrase means, “unsophisticated pleasures.” (It relies on the idea that
life in the country is less sophisticated than life in the city). But many poets and writers in the Renaissance used
the word “country” as an obscene pun, referring to an offensive slang word for the vagina. For example, in Hamlet
III.2, Hamlet offers to put his “head” in Ophelia’s lap and then asks, “Do you think I meant country matters?”
Donne may be making a similar pun here.

Snorted (Line 4) - Snored.

Seven Sleepers' Den (Line 4) - In Christian and Islamic tradition, the seven sleepers are a group of young people
who hid inside a cave outside the city of Ephesus to escape religious persecution. According to legend, they
emerged 300 years later, having spent the intervening years asleep. Their "den" is thus the place where they sleep.

Fancies (Line 5) - Fantasies.

Morrow (Line 8) - The morning or the dawn. The word situates the poem in time: it happens in the morning,
perhaps just as the sun rises.

Controls (Line 10) - Restrains or limits. In other words, the lovers don’t need to be jealous of each other
because their love keeps them from checking out other people or being interested in anything but each other.

Thine (Line 15) - The word is now obsolete, but it once served as a more informal way of saying “yours”—
something that people would say to close friends and family members
Plain (Line 16) - Truthful, honest, or unconcealed.

Hemispheres (Line 17) - A “hemisphere” is half of a globe. The word is usually used in geography, to describe
the northern and southern halves of the world. But it can be used to describe any globe-shaped object,
including an eye. Here, the speaker is suggesting that a lover's eye, in part because it looks like a globe,
can serve as a substitute for the globe.

Declining (Line 18) - This can be another word for "descending." Here, it seems to refer to the way the sun
goes down in the west.

Slacken (Line 21) - To diminish or decrease in strength. The speaker is saying, in other words, that his or
her love will not weaken with time, but rather will always remain as strong as it is in the present.



“The Good-Morrow” makes frequent use of alliteration.
Often, these alliterations are marked and notable. For instance,
in line 7, the speaker alliterates on a /d/ sound, “desired”
and “dreamed.” This line is not saturated with alliteration;
rather, the alliteration picks out two particularly important
words in the line and binds them together. In this instance,
and others like it (such as the /s/ sound in line 4 with "snorted,"
"Seven," and "Sleepers'"), the alliteration underlines the
speaker’s argument. The alliteration emphasizes that, before
the speaker met the lover, his or her desire was as insubstantial
as a dream. Elsewhere, the speaker uses a lliteration in
a less careful fashion. For instance, the poem’s first two
lines contain 6 /w/ sounds. Not all of these are particularly
important words: the alliterative line between “wonder,”
“we,” and “weaned” is suggestive and interesting, but the
alliterations on “what” and “were” are less consequential.
Here the alliteration does underline the speaker’s argument
to some extent, emphasizing the relationship between
the lovers' current relationship and their previous experiences
of being "weaned." But this instance of alliteration also
goes beyond rhetorical usefulness, saturating the lines
with sound. Here, the speaker is showing off; his or her
enthusiasm is reflected in the poem’s sheer excess of
playful alliteration. The /w/ sound remains prominent
throughout all three of the poem's stanzas, suggesting a sense of coherence mixed with uncontrollable
excitement much as the lovers' relationship is both serious and overwhelmingly passionate.


“ The Good-Morrow” employs assonance throughout—and, at points, it does so in inventive ways.
Generally speaking, the poem is full of assonance; it is dense with playful, pleasing use of sound. Often,
the poem’s assonance backs up its alliteration. For instance, the heavy alliterative /w/ sound in the first two
lines is accompanied by strong assonance on /o/ and /ee/ sounds. Like the alliteration in these lines, these
plays of sound don't always make a specific point. Rather, they demonstrate the speaker’s enthusiasm and
eagerness to show off his or her literary skill. However, there are points in the poem where the use of
assonance seems to be more purposeful. For example, line 15 contains five hard /i/ sounds. (The /i/ sound
in “in” is slightly different and so doesn't count as part of the pattern of assonance). The /i/ sound appears
repeatedly in the words “my,” “thine,” and, most importantly, in the word “eye.” This word stands at the center
of the line and at the center of a chiastic pattern. The repeated /i/ sound thus dramatizes the exchange the
line describes: the speaker’s face appearing in the lover’s eye and vice versa. In the repetition of the sound,
the distinction between “thine” and “mine” begins to dissolve; the lover and the speaker literally blur together.
This is an unusually significant and rich use of assonance and it demonstrates that the speaker is capable
of formal control and precision—despite being overwhelmed by enthusiasm elsewhere in the poem.


“The Good-Morrow” is a poem full of sonic pleasure and play; the speaker expresses joy through
dense patterns of alliteration, assonance and consonance. For instance, the first two lines contain an
alliterative /w/ sound, assonance on /o/ and /ee/ sounds, and consonance on /t/, /l/, /n/, /r/, and /d/ sounds.
The poem is so dense here (and in many other spots) that it defies interpretation: though there are some
significant and interesting plays of sound, the overall effect is simply one of overflowing joy. The speaker
seemingly overcome by the pleasure of his or her relationship with the lover, and that overwhelming
excitement comes through in the poem’s sonic density. Throughout, the poem is rich with consonance:
almost every line contains consonance on more than one sound. As a result, the most thematically interesting
passages are actually those where the speaker mostly refrains from using consonance, as in line 19.
That line does contain alliteration on a /w/ sound, in “Whatever” and “was,” but the alliteration is not particularly
strong, since the meanings of the words are not important in the line and the /wh/ of “whatever” only
imperfectly aligns with the /w/ of “was.” This change from the poem's overall sonic pattern is fitting: the line
is about imperfect mixtures, so it contains an imperfect and less pleasant combination of sounds. The refusal
to use consonance thus underlines and strengthens the speaker’s argument here, given how strong the
consonance is in almost every other line.


"The Good-Morrow” has two meters. The first six lines of each stanza are in iambic pentameter
(five poetic feet with a da DUM rhythm, creating a total of ten syllables per line) while the final line of
each is in iambic hexameter (six poetic feet and twelve syllables per line). For example, look at the
pattern of lines 20 and 21 (and also note that the first foot of line 21 could also be scanned as starting
with two stressed syllables, creating a spondee):

If our| two loves | be one, | or, thou | and I
Love so | alike, | that none | do slack- | en, none | can die.
By the time Donne wrote “The Good-Morrow,” in the late 1590s or early 1600s, iambic pentameter
was already a prestigious meter. Marlowe and Shakespeare used it for great tragedies like Edward
II and Romeo and Juliet; several centuries before, Chaucer—then the most famous English poet—had
used it for poems like The Canterbury Tales. The meter was used for the most serious, elevated topics.
To use it in a love poem like “The Good-Morrow” is thus almost provocative: it seems like a misuse of
a meter designed for more important ideas. But the speaker argues in “The GoodMorrow” that love is
as important and powerful as any heroic quest: it “makes one little room an everywhere.” It seems that
the speaker is being intentionally provocative, using the meter to underline and strengthen the poem's
argument for the dignity and importance of love. In the final line of each stanza, the speaker switches
from iambic pentameter to iambic hexameter. This meter is not widely used in English poetry, though
it is the standard meter for much French poetry (where it is called an alexandrine). The reasons for
this switch are not entirely clear. Perhaps the speaker wishes to make the poem feel international and
emphasize once again that love encompasses the entire world. The switch between iambic pentameter
and iambic hexameter is not standard in English poetry, and it does not correspond to any inherited form.
But while the poem is careful to preserve this metrical pattern, it does not pay as much attention to the
details within the lines of meter. “The Good-Morrow” is full of metrical substitutions, as in line 12:

Let sea discoverers to new worlds have gone

The line’s third foot is a pyrrhic (the two unstressed syllables of that conclude the word "discoverers").
The fourth foot ("to new") returns to an iambic rhythm, but its final three syllables are confused and
ambiguous. They could be scanned as a dactyl, though “gone” is a strong word and likely carries at
least some stress. Perhaps it is better scanned as two trochees, with a catalectic final foot. The details
of how to scan the line are ultimately unimportant: what matters is how far the line strays from a standard
iambic rhythm. What's more, it does so at the end of the line, a place where poets usually try especially
hard to maintain good meter. Even when the speaker keeps good meter, the metrical feet are often
divided by caesuras, as in the next line:

Let maps | to oth- | -er, worlds | on worlds | have shown,
The line is technically good iambic pentameter, but the caesura in the middle of the third foot upsets
the rhythm, creating an awkward syncopation. Again, the poem’s meter is not particularly skillful;
the speaker’s attention seems to be elsewhere, perhaps tied up with thoughts of his or her lover.

Rhyme scheme

“The Good-Morrow” has an unusual, innovative rhyme scheme.
The first four lines of each stanza are a rhyming quatrain:

This is a widely used rhyme scheme in English; for instance, the first twelve lines of a Shakespearean
sonnet follow this pattern. However, the next three lines of each stanza diverge sharply from standard English
rhyme patterns. Each stanza concludes with a rhyming tercet:

The stanzas are thus internally divided between the two rhyme schemes. This would seem to encourage
a division between the content of the two parts of the stanza, a kind of volta. For instance, the second stanza
introduces anaphora in its final three lines, repeating the word “let.” But the stanzas do not draw a clear
conceptual distinction between their first four lines and their final three: instead, each one generally reads
as an expression of a single idea.

The poem’s rhyme scheme thus invites interpretation, but it is difficult to say exactly what it means. Each
reader may develop a different understanding of it. However, there are some plausible possibilities. For instance,
the first four lines of each, with their criss-cross rhyme, feel quite different from the repeated single rhyme in
the final tercet.The former suggests distance and difference; the latter, intimacy and proximity. Perhaps the rhyme
scheme reflects the transformation that the poem itself recounts: the distance that once separated the lovers has
been replaced by intense closeness, just as the rhymes in each stanza go from distant to close.

The difficulties in interpreting the poem’s rhyme scheme are also compounded by the speaker’s rather casual
attitude toward the rhyme itself. The poem contains four slant rhymes: between “I” and “childishly” in lines
1 and 3, “fear” and “everywhere” in lines 9 and 11, between “gone,” “shown” and “one” in lines 12-14, and
finally between “equally,” “I,” and “die” in lines 19-21. This is an unusually high number of slant rhymes for
such a short poem, and these imperfections indicate that the speaker is perhaps too overcome with excitement
about his or her lover to bother with such formal details.


During his life—and afterwards—John Donne was famous for his sloppiness in the formal aspects of poetry.
Ben Jonson, one of Donne’s contemporaries, and himself an accomplished formalist, complained: “Donne,
for not keeping of accent, deserved hanging.” Jonson was so offended by Donne’s mishandling of poetic
form that he joked (or perhaps even thought) that Donne should be executed! But Donne’s sloppy attention
to form comes with some advantages: his poems are often unusual and original. Instead of following traditional
forms, they develop their own idiosyncratic forms. “The Good-Morrow” is a good example of Donne's unique
approach to form. The poem has three stanzas, each with seven lines. This is very unusual: most English
stanzas have an even number of lines. This helps poets keep their rhyme schemes orderly and symmetrical,
since it’s awkward to fit an extra line into the rhyme scheme. And Donne’s poem does have a strange rhyme
scheme. Each seven-line stanza is rhymed ABABCCC,
and each can be divided into two units: a quatrain and
a tercet. The initial quatrains are rhymed ABAB, while
the final tercets are rhymed CCC. To make matters even
stranger, the poem’s meter is irregular. The first six lines
of each stanza are in iambic pentameter; the final
line is in iambic hexameter. The poem's odd form thus
cries out for interpretation, but it is not entirely clear
what it means.The break between the two parts of the
stanza acts as a kind of volta, or a turn in the poem's
thinking. But these breaks are not particularly strong.
In Petrarchan sonnets, for instance, the volta is usually
an occasion for the speaker to reconsider and to change his or her mind. The speaker here generally does
not do so; that is, the stanzas feel like single conceptual units that each express one idea, despite their voltas.
Another possible interpretation is that breaking each stanza into two distinct parts is meant to symbolize the
two distinct parts of the lovers' lives: they used to be asleep, and now they are "waking." Or one might see the
first four lines of each stanza as imitating the structure of a Shakespearean sonnet, which has the same rhyme
scheme and meter as the quatrains here do, before splitting into something different in the tercet. The poem’s
form is unusual and thus invites interpretation, but with so many different possibilities, readers will have to
decide for themselves exactly how to interpret it.

Criticism and evaluation of the poem

"The Good Morrow" is one of Donne's most famous poems, the subject of much literary interpretation
and criticism. Its numerous allusions to seventeenth-century philosophical and scientific beliefs can be
confusing to modern readers, but the poem itself develops a singular theme: the expression of romantic love
between two lovers.

The title, translated to mean "the good morning," suggests the poem's setting. The narrator has awakened
and speaks to his lover, after they have spent the night together. In the first stanza, he asks her questions
about what their lives had been before they met. As the stanza ends, he concludes that all his previous
experiences in love were insignificant.

If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of them
In the second stanza, the narrator moves from the lovers' past to their present; he also moves from
the physical, superficial aspects of their love to its deeper spiritual nature:

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.

Because their love is profound, with one soul loving the other, neither will be attracted to anyone or
anything beyond themselves. "One little room" (any room they are in together) becomes "everywhere."
Together, they become a world of their own.

The third stanza develops the idea of two melding into one entity, two "hemispheres" to be "mix'd equally."
The concluding lines look to their future together:
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.
The narrator believes that the love they have found with each other, if preserved, will be immortal.




My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

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

My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun by William Shakespeare is seen as
an anti-metaphorical sonnet, unlike the other famous sonnets of the Elizabethan Age.
It stands apart from most of his sonnets for its mocking voice, use of satire and even i
ts strange ideas. In this sonnet William Shakespeare forms an argument against
conventions to flatter one’s lover with praise of her beauty as well as make comments
about the way that love between two people can be expressed and interpreted. He
uses the example of a woman who is not physically perfect or even beautiful in order
to emphasize and stress the idea that love is deeper and more important than these
superficial and trivial comparisons about body beauty.


My beloved’s eyes do not shine like the sun
Her lips are not as red as the red of coral
If snow is white, then her breasts are brownish gray
Her hair is coarse like wires and black in color
I’ve seen rose that are a beautiful red color
But see no such thing on her cheeks
And perfumes smell sweeter
Than my love breath
I love to hear her speak, but I know
Music is much more pleasing to listen to
I’ve never seen a goddess walk. She cannot be compare to a goddess
Because she is on the earth
Nonetheless, by heaven, I think my love is rare
As any woman praise by ridiculous comparisons


The speaker of the sonnet describes the woman he loves. He makes multiple comparisons of her to things
like the sun, coral, and roses. She does not compare to those beautiful things. She is not as pretty. He also says
she does not have pretty skin or hair, and she has bad breath. He says she is not a goddess but a real woman
walking on earth. In the last two lines, he says he loves her and doesn’t try to falsely compare her to things that
she is not like.

Line by Line Analysis

Line 1

“My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;”
Here we are introduced for the first time to the main
character in this poem, the speaker's "mistress."
Today, when we use the word "mistress," it's usually
to refer to a woman who is dating a married man.
In Shakespeare, though, it was more general, like
"my love" or "my darling."The speaker jumps right into
his anti-love poem, letting us know that this lady's eyes
aren't like the sun. Well, so what? We wouldn't really
expect them to be, would we? As we read the next few
lines though, we see that the comparison is a standard
way of praising a beautiful woman in a poem. It's like
saying, "her eyes are like sapphires." Our speaker is
refusing to fall back on clichés though, instead telling
us that this simile doesn't apply at all.

Line 2

“Coral is far more red than her lips' red;”
If you imagined a stereotypically beautiful
woman, like a model in a magazine, she'd
probably have red lips, right? Certain kinds
of very red coral are polished and used to
make jewelry so if you compared lips to coral,
you'd be thinking of the most beautiful, shiny
red thing you could imagine. Nope, says the speaker,
that doesn't sound like my girlfriend's lips at all.

Line 3

“If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;”
Next come the mistress's breasts. They get pretty
much the same treatment as her lips. If the reddest
red is like coral, then the whitest white is the color
of snow. A poet could praise a woman for having
skin as white as snow.Not here, though.

This woman's skin isn't white, or even cream
colored. Instead, the speaker calls it "dun," a sort of
grayish-brown color. Be sure to notice the little
changes here. In the first two lines, we hear only
that the woman isn't like these other things
(the sun, coral). Now we get an actual description,
an adjective ("dun") that applies to her. Unfortunately,
it just makes her sound uglier. Dun is a word often
used to describe the color of a horse, and definitely
not the kind of thing a woman would be thrilled to
hear about her breasts.

Line 4

“If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.”
Now things just get worse. If a poet wanted to be sentimental
and sweet, he might compare his lover's hair to something soft,
smooth, and shiny, like silk. Here though, the mistress's hair
is compared to black wires sticking out of the top of her head.
Keep in mind that the whole point of this poem is to push back against
\standard ways of talking about women in poems. So it's not
necessarily bad that she has frizzy black hair.

Line 5-6 disturbing voice. However, despite the annoying voice
of his mistress he still loves to hear her speak yet
“I have seen roses damasked, red and white,” he is completely aware of the reality that listening
But no such roses see I in her cheeks; There's a tricky to music is more comforting. Shakespeare surprisingly
word here: damasked. Basically it just means a pattern admires her voice and flatters it, unlike the previous
of mixed colors woven into expensive fabric. So imagine lines in which no flattering were presented.
a rose with a white and red pattern on it, or maybe a bouquet Nevertheless, this kind of compliment is still common
of red and white roses. Our speaker has seen beautiful in our present days and used by many poets.
roses like that, but his mistress's cheeks don't remind him
of them at all. Maybe some perfectly beautiful woman has Line 11-12
cheeks that are white with just a little blush of red, but that's
not the woman he's talking about. “grant I never saw a goddess go; / My mistress,
when she walks, treads on the ground.” He admits
Line 7-8 that he has never saw a real goddess walking
on the ground and unlike their mistress, his lady is
“And in some perfumes is there more delight very normal when she walks “she has earthy quality”
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.” (Sonnet 130). Without using any exaggeration, he
notes that his mistress is nothing like a goddess
The speaker tells us that some perfumes smell better and walks normally.
(give more "delight") than this woman's lover's breath.
Apparently, she stinks, too. so far, the speaker said that
his mistress's eyes aren't that great, that her lips aren't
that red, that her skin is yellowish, that her hair is like wires,
that her cheeks are nothing like roses, and that her breath reeks.

Line 9-10

“I love to hear her speak, yet well I know / That
music hath a far more pleasing sound;” He loves to listen
to her talk but yet he knows that or sure that the sound
of music is more pleasing than her voice, which here
it seems that his lady has a rough, unpleasing, and

Line 13-14

“ And yet, by heave n , I thin k my love a s ra re / A s a ny s h e b e lie d wit h fa ls e c o m p a r e.”
The poet made a shift of his speech and divested all the compares as indicating that she is still rare
and he loves her. The speaker swears by heaven that she is rare despite all of her imperfections
hat he mentioned she is still unique in her own way not in the false compares that others do to complain
about their lovers. This explains that these two lovers will still love each other and remain, lovers,
even after 12 lines of describing imperfections and short comings. Shakespeare claims that
she is exceptional for him even without the traditional and unrealistic descriptions of beauty. What
makes this sonnet rare and interesting is the way Shakespeare described his lover with all the
unpleasing flatters, but yet at the end he admits that he loves her and thinks that she is rare without a
ny exaggerating, false comparison. Shakespeare’s capability of getting the readers interest is
unquestionable and this can be assured by reading this sonnet and looking at how he mastered to
break the traditional rules of praising the other person, especially praising men for women, and
by this he wants the reader to be more realistic and to not love according to the false comparisons
that have been done before. He also showed how a person can fall in love even with the imperfections
of his lover and love unconditionally.



This poem is an expression of love. In order to express your love, you have to
talk about it, define it, examine it. In telling his mistress that he loves her, our
speaker also has to give us an idea about what his love is like. This poem is
partly about where love comes from, what motivates our feelings of affection
for someone else. Specifically, it's about finding love in spite of (or maybe even
because of) physical flaws.


Since our speaker spends a lot of the poem talking about what's wrong with
his mistress's looks. He does a pretty complete dissection of her face, her body,
and her smell. He doesn't say anything at all about her personality, but instead
sticks to his laundry list of problems with her appearance.This gives Shakespeare
a chance to poke fun at our obsession with looks and to show how ridiculous
it is to ask any person to live up to some ideal of perfect beauty.

Women and Femininity

"Women and Femininity" is connected to the idea of appearances.This poem
is all about female beauty and our expectations and stereotypes about the way
women ought to look. Essentially, the speaker in this poem is pointing out that
love poetry does the same thing. It makes women into goddesses, not real
human beings. He insists that his idea of beautiful femininity doesn't depend
on fitting an abstract, unrealistic fantasy.


The tone is bold. Sonnets are supposed
to be about love, and this one is, but it is not
about beauty in the typical way.

The speaker is taking a risk by wooing his
womanthrough insults. He also sorts of hands out
a backhanded insult to other poets (including himself)
when he says they are guilty of "false compare",
in other words the women they write about could
not possibly be as beautiful as they say. His point
to his woman is "I love you as you are." Of course,
there is a good bit of humor in the first 12 lines of the
sonnet as well. The humor only leaves at the end
when he makes his true point known.


Shakespeare uses imagery in "Sonnet 130" to parody conventional Petrarchan
love language.

Sight her lips are not "coral,"
his lover's eyes are not like the "sun,"

her cheeks are not "roses," Her hair is coarse like wires and black in color

The way she moves Sound
Smell her sound is not pleasing like the music
her breath is not always like "perfumes

Figurative languages


William Shakespeare's sonnets are full of beautiful and striking similes. In Sonnet 130, he used strange
indirect similes as follows:

1- My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun. 4 - ‘I have seen roses damask’d, red and white, but
The poet uses a direct comparison between his no such roses see I in her cheeks’

mistress' eyes and the sun. He compared a sun with his Here the poet compares cheeks with roses
mistress' dark eyes in order to portray the dull, boring but he cannot see roses in his mistress' cheeks.
and lifeless quality of her eyes in order to emphasize the This line highlights the dull and boring qualities
dullness and lifelessness. of his beloved lady.

2 - Coral is far more red than her lips red 5 - ‘And in some perfumes is there more delight t
The poet here compares his mistress' lips to red coral Han in the breath that from my mistress reeks’

where he portrays an amazing image that the reader Also, here Shakespeare avoids direct simile. His
imagines bright red coral in a sea full of grey water; it is mistress' breath is compared to perfumes but
drawing our eyes towards the pure and nice color and by unfortunately there is more delight in perfumes than
having the grey water background the poet emphasizes in his mistress breath.
the lifeless color of his mistress’ lips.

3 - ‘If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun’
In this line, Shakespeare is so satirical and he avoids

a direct simile, instead just he gives us the strong image
of sparkling white snow, and lays it next to the equally
strong image of dun breasts. In this line William Shakespeare
plays uses colors to convey his idea; he uses white
as a symbol of purity, cleanliness, virginity, and all that,
next to that squeaky clean image, the mistress's breasts
look dirty and polluted.

6 - ‘I love to hear her speak, yet well I know that
music hath a far more pleasing sound’

Shakespeare avoids direct simile here. He
says that music has a far more pleasing sound
than his mistress' voice. He does not say that his
mistress’ voice was horrible, only that music sounds
far more pleasing.

7- I grant I never saw a goddess go; my mistress
when she walks treads on the ground:

In the previous lines we have another simile
where the poet says that his mistress' stride is like
a goddess.


If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. (line 4)
Metaphor: the word wires is not literal it refers to golden wire,
as women who had beautiful hair were told they had hair like
golden wire. This line contains a metaphor where the poet is
making analogy between wires and his mistress' hair.


The sun is the source of light and warmth on Earth; it sparkles
with brilliance and cheer. As such, the sun is often used as a symbol
for something of extraordinary value—especially in poems and plays
that deal with love.


The speaker, defying the conventions of
traditional love poetry, claims his mistress's skin
is not as white as snow.


This may be the most significant symbol. Roses are a staple of
romantic poetry. Women's cheeks and lips are often compared to red
roses, since roses are associated with love, idealism, and sensuality.
However, the speaker denies seeing any roses in his lover's cheeks,
puncturing this cliché.


The speaker claims he loves to hear his mistress talk, but he
would never compare her voice to music. To claim her voice is not
musical places her ever more in the company of ordinary people.


“If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,” (4-5)
Here we have an allusion possibly to the rose known as the York and Lancaster variety, which the House of
Tudor adopted as its symbol after the War of the Roses. The York and Lancaster rose is red and white streaked,
symbolic of the union of the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York.

“My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: “(13)
He also alludes to the then-overused metaphor of beloved women as angels who tread clouds, stating
that in reality

“And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare” (14)
Also there is some allusion in Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 which is considered as religious in line 14 when
he used the word 'heaven':

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