What are the main themes of the Shakespeare's Sonnet 138?
The poem deals mainly with dishonesty and loyalty. Throughout the sonnet, Shakespeare focuses the reader's attention on the dishonest relationship the speaker shares with his lover. Both lie to each other about different aspects of their acquaintance and the nature of their commitment.
It is as if the couple is playing games with one another; both are dishonest in what they say and what they claim they believe. In lines one and two, for example, the speaker confesses that, even though he knows that his young lover is lying when she tells him that she is the epitome of veracity, he acts as if he believes she is telling the truth. He does this so she believes he is an inexperienced youngster, even though both of them know he is not.
The speaker emphasizes this fact in the second line of the second quatrain, stating,
Simply I credit her false speaking tongue
The speaker then acknowledges the fact that, in this manner, they both suppress the real truth. He rhetorically asks why she does not...
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