Try saying this to your girlfriend

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"I love to hear her speak, yet well I know/ That music hath a far more pleasing sound" (Sonnet CXXX Shakespeare).

   I have to admit that the first time that I read this poem I thought that it was so mean.  Then my English teacher explained that the speaker is telling his mistress that he loves her despite her flaws.  That is beautiful and so very honest.  This line in particular emphasizes his sweetness and honesty almost better than any other line.  He says that, yes she has a nice voice, but I can't lie, music sounds much sweeter.  The poem itself is almost like a giant back-handed compliment.  His mistress would have either been really flattered or really mad.

 

Can't get enough of me?  Hear what I have to say about Jeanine's comment on this poem.

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JeanineONeal/2008/02/hello_ugly_youre_looking_beaut.html

7 Comments

Stephanie Wytovich said:

hahaha, I totally know what you mean. The first time I read this, I was like, "Are you serious? Did he really just say that?"

I think that Shakespeare had good intentions when he wrote this, and meant for it to sound flattering to the woman, but I'd be really curious to see how she reacted to it.

Jeanine O'Neal said:

I agree with you on this one. He sure knows how to compliment a lady!

Angelica Guzzo said:

I couldn't agree with you more. I first thought he was being a jerk but then I was able to see that all he's trying to say is he loves her flaws. Some of his compliments are back handed.

Kaitlin Monier said:

I thought it was making fun of the woman too, until I got to the end and re-read it. But I do wonder if his mistress would be happy or mad too.

I had to read this poem in high school and I remember reading it out loud and thinking how mad I would be if someone said all these things to me. But it's the last two lines that really bring it all together (that's what I commented on in my entry: http://blogs.setonhill.edu/LaurenMiller/2008/02/and_yet_by_heaven_i.html). Thank goodness that those last two lines are in there though, or Shakespeare might have been in big trouble.

Ally Hall said:

I totally agree with you. The very first time I read it in high school, I was like, "and you're able to keep someone by saying this and she hasn't punched you yet?" but when you get to the very end of the poem, you just have to agree that "aww, this makes sense. That's kind of what my blog is about (I think that's what a lot of people's blogs are about).

Richelle Dodaro said:

I saw this too. At first I thought he was just flat out insulting her, but I realized that he was just complimenting her and showing his love, just in a very unique way.

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