How might one interpret Shakespeare's Sonnet 138, "When my love swears that she is made of truth,"?
This sonnet, written to the dark lady, discusses the classic lovers' agreement to lie to each other and yet to accept each other's lies at face value in order to soften the realities of their relationship. They have agreed, in essence, to create a fiction in which the poet is always young, and the lady is always truthful.
In this case, in lines 1-2, the lover, with a bit of logical gymnastics, acknowledges that he knows his lover lies even though he believes her assertion that she is truthful. In lines 3-6, he notes that she lies because she pretends that he is a naive youth "unlearned in the world's false subtletie," and the poet is hopeful that she thinks of him as a young man, but he knows...
(The entire section contains 390 words.)
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