April 17 2017

My mistress’s eyes are nothing like a summer’s day.

Tonight, please write your response to the sonnet you memorized.    In addition, however, you must respond to at least one comment on the sonnet that you did NOT memorize.

So, if you memorized “Shall I Compare Thee,” please analyze it here and then comment on one of your classmates’ analyses of “My Mistress’ Eyes.” But, if you memorized “My Mistress’ Eyes,” analyze it and comment on one of your classmates’ analyses of “Shall I Compare Thee.”

Some questions to consider for your analysis:

  • What patterns such as rhythm, rhyme, word choice or imagery, do you notice about your sonnet?
  • What literary elements, such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, etc., do you notice and what effect do they have on the overall sonnet?
  • What is the most important underlying message of your sonnet?

As always, you MUST provide specific evidence from your text, proofread your writing for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  Please also respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Poetry blog #4

Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

Posted April 17, 2017 by equinson in category Shakespeare

42 thoughts on “My mistress’s eyes are nothing like a summer’s day.

  1. tarika1

    I noticed this sonnet is a lot more real than the other one. Sonnet 18 is all about the beauty and how great his lover is, while this one is all about the imperfections of the person, but he still loves them. Also, the word he used such as “reek” and “black wires” make you think he is not talking about someone he likes. It makes readers imagine that h does not like this person and he is insulting them. The overall message of this sonnet is, you don’t have to be perfect to be loved.

  2. francescaa

    After reciting Sonnet 130 and then analyzing Sonnet 18, I realized the the two sonnets have contrasting messages. In “Shall I compare thee to my mistress eyes, “ Shakespeare was trying to convey the imperfections his mistress had. This was not meant in a shameful, demoralizing way, rather in a way to show how every human has their flaws. For instance, he wrote that he knows that her voice isn’t as beautiful as music, but that doesn’t stop his from loving her. “I love to hear her speak, yet well i know, That music hath a far more pleasing sound…” These little imperfections is what makes Shakespeare fall in love with this woman. However, in “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” Shakespeare was sharing how someone has the qualities of a “summer’s day”. With the assumption that the “summer’s day” Shakespeare was describing was in fact a beautiful summer day, the reader can presume that the person Shakespeare is describing is almost perfect. The last line of the sonnet basically gives away who Shakespeare is talking about; himself. In essence, he is saying that he is above all the beautiful things a summer day entails.
    A line that stood out to me above the rest was “And often is his gold complexion dimm’d.” This line hints a bit of sarcasm, something I would have surpassed during a quick skim through. I don’t think his gold complexion is often dimmed. In a sonnet where Shakespeare is boasting about his greatness, a statement like this doesn’t have a place. What Shakespeare really means is the opposite of what he’s saying; rarely does his gold complexion get dimmed. After focusing on memorizing one sonnet, reading the other fresh minded is compelling in many ways.

  3. Tyler Newby

    In Sonnet 18, Shakespeare is praising the one he loves. He says “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.” He says that his lover is better than a Summer’s day and he tells him how perfect he is. Another thing Shakespeare says is that his lover will never die, because his perfection will live on through his writing, along with Shakespeare’s love.

  4. marinas1

    In Sonnet 130, the reader sees Shakespear professing his love to his mistress. Although quite a few sonnets depict love and lust, this particular sonnet does so in an unconventional way. Shakespear puts his mistress under quite the unpleasant light, nit-picking at her imperfections and pointing out everything that today would be considered insecurities by the majority of men and women. To exemplify his discomforting comparisons, Shakespear uses vivid imagery. He claims “‘My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.'” In a way, one can imagine just how Shakespear’s mistress can not lift herself off the ground and is permanently trudging across the ground. In another couple of lines, Shakespear says “‘I have seen roses damasked, red and white, but no such roses see I in her cheeks.'” Again, one can truly see the beautifully depicted roses, that never appear on his mistress’s cheeks. In addition, Shakespeare uses similes in his sonnet to further demonstrate the lack of outer beauty his mistress possesses. In the first line, Shakespear declares “‘My mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun'”, clearly using a simile to compare his mistress’s eyes and the lack of light and allure they withhold. Additionally, at the very end of the sonnet, Shakespear proclaims “‘And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare'”, again using a simile. However, this time, he is using the simile to declare his love, and not to compare his mistress to anything ghastly at all.

    In the end, however, the important message shown in the sonnet is not that his mistress is unpleasant and repugnant. Shakespear is clearly declaring that his mistress is not perfect, and never will be. However, he loves her anyway, because, in the end, beauty and charm are all in vain.

    1. alekhya

      That is a very nice wording, Marina! “in the end, beauty and charm are all in vain.” Couldn’t have been said better. You are right in that he believes his love for her is not based on her beauty and that he loves her just the way she is.

    2. christophert3

      I completely agree, and this is a great lesson for all to learn, even now. That people are full of imperfections is something that has to be accepted. I must also complement you on your great number of examples from the sonnet to back up your claim. Nice job, Marina.

  5. Kat

    The sonnet that I memorized was “my mistress eyes”. I found this sonnet as more compelling than the sonnet #18. I thought that this sonnet had more truth to it. In this one sonnet Shakespeare talks about his love but points out that she is not perfect but yet he loves her. In the other sonnet he holds the subject up as if they are perfect. The fact that Shakespeare criticizes his mistress makes us think that he does not like her but in the last few lines show that even with her imperfections he loves her anyway. I also noticed that many of Shakespeare’s seem to be about love. They also seem to reach out to the reader and connect the people he writes about to common things that we would know. He does that many times in “my mistress eyes”. He compares his love to perfume, snow, wires, roses, and even the sun. Shakespeare was an amazing writer and that really comes through in his sonnets.

    1. alexo

      Although I do agree that Sonnet 130 is more thruthful when it comes to he description of a person, when it comes to the goal of Sonnet 18, it is just as true as any other work of poem. It accomplishes the goal of immortalizig the person that has been written about. Although not completely true, Shakespeare makes some very good points in the fast few lines of his 18th sonnet.

  6. cameronl3

    Although both sonnets by Shakespeare are similar in the fact that they both express their love for a woman, this sonnet particularly critiques at the imperfections of the women, but even with this, he still loves and has an abundance of affection towards her. In Sonnet 18, he directs the message toward all of the perfections and what makes her beautiful, as he compares her to a “summer’s day,” sharing that she is even more beautiful than the bright summer day, and nothing will be able to take that beauty away. With this sonnet, the message shows that no one is really “perfect,” and you do not need to be in order to find true love, unlike Sonnet 18, where the woman he describes is in a way perfect.

  7. alekhya

    In Sonnet 18, Wiliam Shakespeare describes a lovely youth by comparing her with the delights of the summer season. At first when he says “Thou art more temperate and more lovely” he is saying that the youth is like a calm summer that isn’t scorching or clammy, but instead has a more mild personality and temper. He then goes on to say that this beauty, this perfect image will never be forgotten as long as there are people in this world to recite his poem, “When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st; So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.” In the lines, “By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;” Shakespeare also utilizes alliteration, repeating the “ch” sound, to draw the reader’s attention and create a rhythm and mood of compassion while thinking of one’s love. Shakespeare also utilizes words such as compare and day, shake and May, and sometimes and shines, which share similar sounds to produce a song like effect.

    In this sonnet, Shakespeare is trying to say that the lovely youth shines as brightly and beautifully as the sun with more charm, but unlike the sun the youth’s beauty will shine forever never to be dimmed or forgotten.

    1. Rebecca F

      I agree that Shakespeare’s sonnet describes a scintillate and beautiful woman. I also didn’t notice the alliteration with the “ch” noise until you pointed it out.

  8. eshap

    In Sonnet 18, Shakespeare uses exaggerations of what is reality to describe a nearly perfect youth. He claims for him to be more lovely when compared to summer, and have gold complexion. However, these seem to be stretching the truth of what’s actually there. The young man seems to be better than all things beautiful, given perfect features. “Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, and often is his gold complexion dimm’d.” Shakespeare gives the example of the young man having glowing skin that’s brighter than the sun, yet on days when the sun is exceptionally bright, the young man’s glowing skin fades into the background. Furthermore, in the next two lines, Shakespeare says how beauty can never last, and usually fades away. “But thy eternal summer shall not fade…” In this line, Shakespeare writes how although beauty fades, the young man’s perfectness will not disappear. It is too wonderful to fade away. He goes on to say that the young man is much too extraordinary to succumb to Death.

  9. Rebecca F

    In contrast to sonnet 18, sonnet 130 portrays a woman of realistic beauty. The sonnet even goes as far to portray her as ugly. Yet, the poet still loves her as he says, “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare/As any she belied with false compare.” Sonnet 130 describes how the woman he loves, although imperfect, is beautiful to him, and not because of her looks. Shakespeare writes knowing that the woman is only a human, saying, “I grant I never saw a goddess go/My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.” Shakespeare does not call her a goddess or sing her praises. Instead, he points out her flaws, emphasizing her humanity, and writing that he loves her above all.

    1. Rebecca F

      I switched my posts accidently, here is the right one:

      Upon reading sonnet 18, I realized that the sonnet had a rhyming pattern of a and b, c and d, e and f. However, the last two lines deviate from this patter, rhyming with each other instead.
      Regarding the meaning of the poem, it describes a woman of unfathomable beauty, that puts all other things to shame. Her beauty is unrealistically portrayed. While she may be beautiful, Shakespeare overexaggerates this quality, comparing her to “a summer’s day”. This poem glorify’s the woman’s beauty, disregarding that she is human and must have flaws.

  10. George

    Both of these sonnets are similar in the fact that they both speak of love. This one however speaks of a deep actual love. The sonnet basicly said the person that i love is not a godess however is the love of my life. Tgis sonnet is in a more real spectrum. This soumds like a person who is in a long relationship ans is very real about it.

  11. ivanl

    In sonnet 18, the beauty of the woman is described rather unrealistically. Using very “beautiful” words, the woman is described. Such words like “golden complexion” and “eye of heaven” bring thoughts of someone so beautiful they are not even human. In the couplet at the end, she is also described to give life to people, so long as they can see her, giving yet another example of the woman’s unrealistic beauty. Shakespeare also describes that they are so pretty, they will not be able to be taken by death. The wording gives an unrealistic idea, yet it makes the reader ubderstand the person being described is extremely beautiful.

  12. alexo

    When I first read Sonnet 18, I wa sstruck by how idealistic and exaggerattive it was. Although the poem did point out the many faults of the man, he ended with a strong, resounding tone, saying that since he had written this passage, the man in question would symbolically never die. Although it is still true that this is a rather large statement, I now find it to be completely true. Shakespeare, in many of his works, shows his understanding of he power of literature, and what kind of profound effect it has on people, at the present time the sonnet was written, and in the future, in the many years to come. He seemed to know that people like us, ordinary kids of the 21st century, would see and admire his works.

    1. margauxc

      Your analysis is thorough and extremely well-written. I definitely agree that “the eternal summer” Shakespeare spoke of has yet to fade- which definitely does depict his knowledge of literature’s impact, in a certain perspective.

  13. Toa Neil

    In sonnet 18 Shakespeare is very unrealistic and loving. But he still is grounded in his comparisons of the summer. He is saying that she is so perfect. I think that is interesting.

  14. caias1

    In sonnet 18, Shakespeare describes his lover as more beautiful than a summer day; “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate…” It contrasts sonnet 130, My Mistress’ Eyes because in sonnet 130, he describes his love as a goddess more lovely than a summer day. In sonnet 18, Shakespeare emphasizes how his lover bears no resemblance to a goddess at all; “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips’ red…” Although both poems express the love they feel, one is more realistic than the other about the descriptions of the women.

  15. ilyssal

    The brilliant William Shakespeare wrote many sonnets, two of the most famous being Sonnets 18 and 130. Over spring break I memorized his Sonnet 18. What struck me most about this sonnet is how beautiful Shakespeare makes his maiden out to be. He describes her as nature’s gem. Shakespeare concludes this sonnet with a line that truly stayed with me long after I read it for the first time. He is trying to reach a point to express that his love is eternal and it will last as well as her beauty forever. This sonnet has already survived into the 21st century and that is honestly a statement within itself. The incredible work of Shakespeare could never be replaced and this sonnet will remain with me for a long time.

  16. avae1

    Throughout Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, he describes his mistress as possessing realistic beauty. Perhaps she does not have the reddest lips or the most luxurious hair, but in his eyes, he loves her anyway. I noticed that the majority of the sonnet was based off a couplet style rhythm and format. It often appears that the first phrase will depict an aspect of life in its sweetest form, and the second will express a similar, yet not so similar trait of his mistress. “And in some perfumes is there more delight, Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks” In contrast, Sonnet 18 begins with the question “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” and has almost a daring quality to it. While in Sonnet 130 it seems more certain and true. “My mistress eyes” could be considered to be in a realist point of view. He cannot compare his mistress to a summer’s day because simply, she is not one. He is aware of this and yet still cherishes her. “I grant I never saw a goddess go, ” She is no goddess, but his love for her is still rare. That is what real love is after all, taking the poor and admirable traits of a person and appreciating them just the same.

  17. adam

    Throughout Sonnet 18, there are many interesting aspects. Obviously it is about compassion and love. I find it interesting how the poem all begins with a question that he proceeds to answer. It is unusual but is very interesting in the way he structures his poem. He very obviously compares his maiden to the most wonderful things, such as a summers day. There is obvious external beauty, but it is clear that he is truly in love with her. Although she has internal beauty as well, it is less emphasized, unlike sonnet 130. But, 18 is very exaggerated and unrealistic in reality, but not in his eyes which is what makes it super special and significant even today. In his eyes, she is perfect.

  18. sofiad1

    In “Shall I compare,” the main message is how wonderful the person he is talking to is. When he says, “But thy eternal summer shall not fade,” he is saying that that person will always be warm and loving. When it is said, “Thou art more lovely and more temperate,” he is saying that the person is much nicer than a summer day. They are without the small annoyances. More temperate being not scorching and uncomfortable, but light and warm.

  19. francescaa

    In Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, he portrays his mistress in a very realistic light. Throughout the sonnet Shakespeare points out all the imperfections his mistress had. Her lips, hair, cheeks and voice where all points of discussion. Despite all this bashing, Shakespeare did not write this sonnet to insult his mistress, rather to show that nobody is perfect. Even though Shakespeare’s mistress is far from perfect, he loves her anyway. Why? Because she is human. No human can be perfect in every way. It is an unrealistic expectation for women to have lips as red as coral or cheeks the color of roses. I believe that the message Shakespeare is sending to the reader is to embrace someone’s imperfections. These flaws are what makes us humans. Inner beauty is far superior to what the eye meets, which is something Shakespeare wrote about in this sonnet.

  20. charlottes

    I memorized Sonnet #18, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” Every two lines rhyme, but then it changes to the next to lines. The pattern goes a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, etc. Much imagery is used in this sonnet. When I read the words “rough winds do shake the darling buds of May”, I can see the buds blooming and being shaken by wind.This sonnet also mentions a metaphor at the beginning when it states “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” This poem is about someone he loves. The poem itself states that she doesn’t compare to a summer’s day. She is far more beautiful. It is saying that even though she is beautiful, she has her flaws (rough winds, lease). Even though she isn’t perfect, he loves her. The message in Sonnet #130 is similar to this as well. Both Sonnets are somewhat connected to love.

  21. maddy

    The sonnet “Shall I Compare Thee” exemplifies personification and romanticizing. Personification is utilized throughout this sonnet because the subject is compared to a summer day. Romanticizing is an additional literary rhetoric that is consequently evident. Shakespeare not only compares the features of his subject to a summer day, yet he describes these features as being “…more lovely and more temperate…” than one. It can be inferred that the lust Shakespeare holds for the subject prevents him from overlooking their imperfections. He exaggerates their qualities as a result.

  22. arihantp1

    I memorized and recited Sonnet #18 by Shakespeare, which shows how one can reach eternal life using the Great Shakespeare’s sonnets. He first asks to compare the subject to a summer’s day. Shakespeare continues to talk about how summer and the subject both have their flaws, but then confidently says that with his sonnets, death cannot brag about holding the subject in its shade, and proclaims his eternal love. The sonnet runs an a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, e, f, e, f, g, g pattern, and the underlying theme of the sonnet is to look past the flaws of a person and see who they really are.

  23. christophert3

    After further analyzing sonnet 18, being the one that I memorized over the break, I have found meaning in the poem, where as before my only goal was to engrave it my memory. I analyzed the poem this time so as to understand it’s meaning and I believe the poem is about one who is asking to compare someone else to a summer’s day(a lover?). Then, afterwards, the poem continues to be his words, the words that he would be coming from his lips after the other side said yes. That, or the first question was rhetorical. But as he compares this person to a summer’s day, he continues to reveal how much better she/he is, be it more temperate or lovely or with everlasting beauty. He also comes to describe how she/he will live forever as a result to these life giving phrases which will give her the life forever so long as it exists. And technically, the poem still does exist, we are reading it today right?

  24. willowm

    In “My Mistress’ Eyes”, Shakespeare describes his mistress as imperfect. When I first read the sonnet I thought that it was quite rude. He says things such as “And in some perfumes is there more delight, than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.” Once I reached the end, however, I learned that it was a very kind message. He acknowledges his mistress’ imperfections and loves her despite her flaws. This message reminds me of one of the lyrics in the song “All of Me” by John Legend. He summarizes this idea with the phrase “all your perfect imperfections.” He does not expect her to be as beautiful as a goddess, and appreciates her the way she is.

    Shakespeare uses comparisons to help the reader visualize his mistress. He writes, “Coral is far more red that her lips’ red.” He uses this to relate, or connect, to the reader with things that are common knowledge.

  25. faithw

    For this assignment, I memorized and recited Sonnet 18 from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In this poem, Romeo declares his love for his beloved Juliet. He praises the beauty of his spouse by comparing her to a summer’s day. He exclaims that she is “more lovely and more temperate” than the most perfect of evenings. While analyzing this poem, I noticed that sonnet 18 and sonnet 130 are polar opposites. In sonnet 130, Shakespeare compares his mistress to many of the world’s beauties, but exclaims that she is far uglier than any of them. Shakespeare writes that he loves his mistress despite her many imperfections. However, in sonnet 18, Shakespeare describes the lady as a goddess describes her to be flawless.

  26. margauxc

    The poetic appeal behind sonnet eighteen comes within the juxtaposing of summer’s fleetingness and an idealistic love which is claimed to be eternal. Throughout the first eight lines of the sonnet, Shakespeare lists several of summer’s imperfections and by doing so, he conveys summer to possess a fleeting spirit. Yet, as the sonnet concludes, Shakespeare emphasizes that, unlike summer, his love is not fleeting nor shall age/wither. Unlike the constant variation of fair and dreadful weather, the narrator’s love is consistent. Unlike the transition of summer to autumn, the narrator’s love will not fade in time to come. Overall, it is thoroughly established that the narrator’s love is to last for all of eternity- immortalized within the sonnet.

    The sonnet’s lines strikingly oppose those of sonnet one hundred and thirty. In sonnet eighteen, Shakespeare describes the allure of a love to envy- a love which presents itself to be even more idealistic than the beauty of summer. Sonnet one hundred and thirty essentially contradicts nearly every ideal presented within sonnet eighteen, and praises of a love which is honest and true, rather than idealistic and surreal.

  27. laurena2

    Throughout sonnet 18 by Shakespeare, his maiden in described as a beautiful creature that is almost goddess like. He uses the a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, e, f, e, f, g, g pattern and lots of imagery to bring the sonnet to life. In this sonnet, Shakespeare writes more about lusting his maiden rather than actually loving her. He embraces her external beauty, but never mentions anything about internally loving her. In the line “But thy eternal summer shall not fade,” Shakespeare not only creates a beautiful summer image, but he also says that his maiden will be forever beautiful. Unlike sonnet 130, Shakespeare compares the woman to unrealistic features rather than realistic love inside and out.

  28. george

    This poem is a more realistic one. It talks about a more real type of love. this type of love tells the world yeah my spouse has flaws but i love her with all my heart. this is the type of love you would see in someone who has been married for years. This sonnet is nothing like the other option. the other compares the person he loves to the summer. he tells the person that they are better than summer, better than the spring because that person is perfect. that is the opposite of My mistresses eyes

  29. briannag3

    In the poem “My mistress eyes” Shakespeare points out the imperfections and flaws of his maiden. Before fully reading this poem through I was under the assumption that the whole thing was just him complaining about her and pointing out flaws. However, once I had fully read it through I noticed that the last two lines are the most important. “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare, As any she belied with false compare.” Here he is saying that still he loves her with all of her imperfections.


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