Realistic and Idealistic Love

A theme that was present from sonnets 127 through 150 was the contrasting theme of realistic love and the idealistic perception of love. In sonnets 127-130, the speaker had just begun to express his attraction to this dark-haired woman who in comparison to other poets’ muses was mediocre by standard. In sonnet 130, the speaker describes this woman as having breath that reeks and whose voice is that pleasant to listen to. Yet despite her flaws, he still loves her and even goes as far as to say that the woman who other poets have mentioned as being almost equivalent to a goddess, as being fake. This is the first instance I personally noticed where the speaker is comparing perceptions of love with his love as being realistic and others as something fabricated. The second instance in where these contrasting perceptions take place a couple sonnets later where it is implied that the speaker’s love interest has possibly slept with his friend and with others. Instead of the idealistic and realistic perceptions of love being shown by comparing the speaker’s love to someone else’s, this contrast is now solely being shown through the speaker and his relationship to this woman. When the speaker first mentions this woman, he compliments her beauty and sort of takes pride in the imperfections of the woman who is real in comparison to another woman. However, as the narrator gets closer to the woman he discovers that she does not just belong to him but other men as well and his love sort of becomes unrequited as he pleas for her to allow him to love her as other men have. In sonnet 149 the speaker seems to be arguing with the woman and questioning how she could assume he doesn’t love her when he defends her and basically puts her first. In the last line of this sonnet the speaker states that the woman loves those who cannot see and are not blind like himself. Here, there is a manifestation of the woman’s insecurity. She seems to only be willing to show affection to those who probably do not speak of her in high regards as the speaker does and cannot accept his word because she does not think of them personally to be true. This again brings into play the perceptions of love. Most other poets as the speaker has mentioned, describes their love as something great whereas this love has issues of self-esteem and unhealthy obsessions.

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