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Sonnet 130

Sonnet 130


by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 130 Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

There are lots of different ways to write a sonnet, which is basically a kind of short poem. Shakespeare's sonnets have a very specific form, though, and scholars have named that form the "Shakespe...


This speaker sounds like the guy at the back of your class who is always cracking jokes. He can't stand to do anything the way other people do, and even when he's supposed to be serious, he has to...


Though no setting is explicitly stated, we're imagining this poem set in a courtroom. We know it's a love poem and all, but listen to the way it's presented. The speaker gives us this list of evide...

Sound Check

So you might think we're nuts, but we think this poem sounds like a cat's feet as it moves across a room. Just listen to the way these lines stop and start. The first line picks up speed, patters a...

What's Up With the Title?

None of Shakespeare's sonnets have titles, so we refer to them by number, in this case, 130. These numbers come from the order in which the poems were first published in 1609. The order actually ma...

Calling Card

We can tell right off the bat that this is a Shakespearean sonnet. That form (14 lines of iambic pentameter with the last two lines rhyming) is a dead giveaway. There are lots of different themes i...


Once you get the hang of Shakespeare's language, and figure out the joke (he's actually trying to be nice!), this poem should be pretty fun and easy.

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

He does mention her breasts (line 3), but in general this is pretty family-friendly love poetry.

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