Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare

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Compare and contrast Sonnet 130 and Sonnet 138 by William Shakespeare.

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Both of these sonnets seem not only to recognize the humanity of the speaker's beloved but also to revel in that humanity rather than attempting to deny or beautify it. The poems recognize that humanity's own inherent beauty.

"Sonnet 130" seems to poke fun at the typical sonnet tropes. Rather than compare his mistress to a goddess or tell untruths about her breath or her cheeks or her lips, the speaker prefers to see her reality and recognize her beauty. He says, "by heaven, I think my love as rare / As any she belied with false compare." In other words, he does not feel the need to make false comparisons in order to glorify his love, because she is glorious enough in reality, all on her own.

The speaker of "Sonnet 138" knows that his lover lies to him in order to make him feel good, and he admits that "On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed." So, he lies to her for the same reason. However, he says that "love's best habit is in seeming trust, / And age in love loves not to have...

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