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Her Lips

Symbol Analysis

Lips seem to be among the standard list of things you're supposed to notice in a beautiful woman. Think about a gorgeous movie star, for example. When she has a close-up in a particular scene, the camera tends to focus on her skin, her hair, her eyes, her breasts – all the things that Shakespeare includes here. The idea of breaking a woman into parts in order to praise her beauty has a really long history

  • Line 2: Comparing lips to red coral gives us another slightly ridiculous over-the-top simile. Lips that red would have to be painted, and that's the kind of fake beauty that this poem is pushing back against.

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