How does Shakespeare portray the complex relationship between truth and love in Sonnet 138?

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In William Shakespeare's Sonnet 138, the poet portrays the complex relationship between truth and love by admitting that he knows his mistress lies to him. Specifically, he knows that when his mistress says that she is faithful, she is, in fact, lying. He adopts a pragmatic approach to his relationship with his mistress. He can ignore her lying and adultery and pretend to believe her, because her unfaithfulness does not disturb him enough for him to bring it out in the open by accusing her. The first two lines of the sonnet are as follows:

When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, though I know she lies...

In other words, when she swears that she is...

(The entire section contains 378 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 1, 2020