In “Sonnet 130,” Shakespeare parodies the conventions of love poetry during the Elizabethan era by deliberately using unflattering comparisons and imagery to describe his lover’s physical appearance. He begins the first quatrain by stating that his mistress’s eyes are “nothing like the sun,” which is a common and exaggerated comparison for beautiful eyes in love poetry. The next few lines go on to describe other physical features that deviate from the typical standards of beauty. By rejecting the conventions of idealized beauty, he is not only critiquing the clichés of his time but also celebrating his lover’s unique qualities. Additionally, Shakespeare’s use of the sonnet form itself can also be seen as a parody of conventional love poetry, as he purposely deviates from the strict rhyme and meter scheme. This serves as a reminder that true love should not be based solely on superficial appearances but rather on an appreciation for one’s individuality and imperfections.
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