Love is Blind

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"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."

 

At first when I read this sonnet, I felt as though he was saying his mistress wasn't good enough, that there are other things better than those that she possesses. The lines that made me feel this way were "coral is far more red than her lips' red" and "if snow be white, why then are breasts are dun." Coral is not red, so if coral is more red than her lips, then her lips must not be red at all. But maybe this is a good thing because red doesn't tend to be a natural color on lips, pink is more of the color. "Dun" refers to a dull grayish brown, which is definitely not a compliment, so that made me feel that he was putting her down. I looked more closely and thought well maybe he is saying that if white is snow, and it can't represent her, well there isn't anything more white than snow, so what else could he say. She is more beautiful to him than snow, but if snow is as white as it gets, then where else can he go? To him, the whiteness of snow just doesn't measure up to her beauty so he can't compare her with that. Her eyes as well can't be compared with the sun for the same reasons. Basically, these phrases that seemed like insults to me were just his way of saying she is better than the given examples, such as the sun, wires, snow, and coral.  

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