Do you think the speaker should be so dismissive of his girlfriend's looks? Why or why not?
Students should discuss beauty norms of Shakespeare's day and how they would have affected society and the perceived worth of beautiful women and ugly ones. Do they see any parallels between Shakespeare's assertions about beauty and modern America's? Some students may feel angry at or distrustful of the speaker because of his shallowness or fixation with his lover's appearance.
The poet constantly describes his mistress as "dark." Do you sense a racial connotation to these sonnets?
While the identity and thus the race of the famous "Dark Lady" are not clear, the...
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