Shakespeare's Sonnets: Crash Course Literature 304 - YouTube (2)
But for me at least, the best line of the poem is when he writes that “love is not time's fool.”
True love, to Shakespeare, is not beholden to time. It doesn't answer to time. It somehow transcends time.
And lastly, let's take a brief look at Sonnet 130, one of the ones addressed to the dark lady.
This sonnet is almost a parody, a send-up of Petrarch's sonnets about the lovely Laura, whom he barely knew.
That weird Renaissance worship of the person you met just one time, 20 years ago,
and the constant exploration of every facet of their beauty, their mouth, their eyes, their cheeks, their hair.
It gets a little overwhelming.
In sonnet 130, Shakespeare simultaneously does that, and refuses to do it.
Like, If he suggested that a summer's day wasn't a good enough descriptor of his beloved,
now he's suggesting that if you compare his mistress to any of the typical stuff
—suns, roses, perfume— she's going to fall very short.
Her breasts are the color of dun, her hair is like black wires, sometimes her breath smells.
This strange descriptive aggression characterizes many of the late sonnets,
where the poet seems to feel ashamed about being attracted to this woman.
But again, there's a twist in the end, as there is with every good sonnet's final couplet.
“And yet by heaven I think my love as rare/ As any she belied by false compare.”
Shakespeare isn't saying, look, my mistress has onion breath.
Instead, the speaker is instead saying, all of you other poets have been exaggerating like crazy including past me.
If you were actually going to describe people realistically, his lover would be as beautiful as any other.
So take that, coral and perfume, and summer days.
And for me at least, that humanization of the romantic other is more romantic,
and ultimately more loving than any summer's day.
And plus, she's gonna get to live forever!
Well, not actually. Because we're all going to die.
Even the species is going to cease to exist.
Thanks for watching Crash Course Literature. See you next week.
Well, actually, I can't guarantee that I'll see you next week.
But I will, so long as YouTube lives, and eyes can see.
Crash Course is filmed here in the Chad and Stacy Emigholz Studio.
It's made by all of these nice people and it's made possible thanks to your support on Patreon,
which is a voluntary subscription service that allows you to support Crash Course directly,
so we can keep it free for everyone forever.
Over at Patreon you can also get amazing perks, so please check it out at patreon.com/crashcourse
Thank you again for watching and as we say in my hometown: Don't Forget To Be Awesome.