"Many critics read this poem as a parody of contemporary love poetry and it certainly has a mocking tone. Some critics suggest that Shakespeare is satirising the conventions in order to mock the Woman." (Raymond, 167) Through description of the woman's physical beauty and her characteristics, Shakespeare affirms his conception of women and, indirectly, challenges the representation of women in the traditional literature and romantic poems.
In a reflective analysis of the portrayal of women in literature through various centuries, it becomes lucid that women have been portrayed differently by writers of different ages and there is a note of cynicism by the time of Shakespeare who breaks the conventional image of the mistress in his sonnet 130. Chaucer's Wife of Bath is the stereotype of women during the period, who is a champion of female rights, and there were several other stereotypes of women, by the 16th century, promoted by the courtly love tradition and the emergence of the sonnet and Arcadian idylls.