Sonnet 138

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Truth and honesty are key elements to a good, healthy relationship. However, in Shakespeare's Sonnet 138, the key to a healthy relationship between the speaker and the Dark Lady is keeping up the lies they have constructed for one another. Through wordplay Shakespeare creates different levels of meaning, in doing this, he shows the nature of truth and flattery in relationships. Shakespeare's Sonnet 138 is one of his sonnets about the Dark Lady. Dark both in appearance, and in her actions, she is once again the subject of the sonnet. The speaker is the lover of the Dark Lady. Whether the speaker is married to her or not is not completely clear. Based on lines regarding age “...she knows my days are past the best” (6), it seems …show more content…
In the second quatrain, the speaker is talking more about growing old, and the fact that both of them are lying to each other. This quatrain confirms what is set up in the first quatrain, that she treats him like he is a younger man than he is. The line “Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young”(5) is the speaker telling us that he is tricking himself into believing that she thinks he is like a younger man. The speaker is not very confident at all. He lets his own vanity get in the way of the Dark Lady's infidelities. She tells him what he wants to hear even though she knows it's not true, as is evident when the speaker says “Although she knows my days are past the best”(6) and he gladly accepts these lies. With her accepting the lie that he is a younger man, in return, he must accept the lie that she is telling him. In the last line of the quatrain, the line “On both sides thus is a simple truth suppress'd”(8) says that both the speaker and the Dark Lady are ignoring reality in order to keep the status quo of their relationship. In order to feel better about themselves. In the last quatrain, the speaker seems to be justifying the mutual lying that is going on between the two. He starts by asking “why doesn't she just tell me she is unfaithful?” and “why don't I just admit I am old?”, but this turns out to be rhetorical