Does Shakespeare use any figurative language in Sonnet 138?

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Sonnet 138 is not exactly filled with traditionally poetic devices such as metaphors or imagery. It is a more direct statement of the situation between the speaker and his lady. The central point of the sonnet is that they both lie to each other: he lies that be believes her to be a chaste maid, and she lies that she believes him to be a young man. It is a kind of mutual deception that connects them to each other. The one clever use of language is the pun on the word "lie." In line 13 the speaker says "I lie with her, and she with me," but this can be taken to means that they both tell lies to each other and that they lie together in a physical sexual way as lovers. They are happy together because they both accept the other as they actually are. This poem comes late in the sequence and is likely to be talking about the "Dark Lady" -- a lover that is referenced in several of the sonnets.

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