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Themes in Shakespeare’s Works

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    In sonnet 138, the poem uses ambiguous dictation (when both meanings of a word make sense). In order to understand the poem we have to base it on our own experiences and interpretations. The poem lets us know that both lovers lie to one another but in different ways. They both lie to each other , they know it but don’t want to accept it or believe. Throughout the poem we see double meaning of “lies”.

    Shakespeare is attentive that his love is to a perfect but he still prefers to accept her allegations even though deep down inside he knows she is swearing falsely. He understands that he is neither a young or old. “Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young. Although she knows my days are past the best. Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue”. Vainly has multiple meanings. During the 16th century (Shakespearean time) it meant foolishly.

    Both lovers not only lie to each other but the man, is actually lying to himself because he lives that this is normal. He is clearly older than his mistress but not so very old that he would have no hope of passing for someone younger. “But wherefore says she not she is unjust? And wherefore say not I that I am old? Oh, love’s best habit is in seeming trust, And age in love loves not to have years told”. Unjust in this poem meaner unfaithful. I come to a conclusion that the spouse doesn’t want to hear the truth although he knows the truth.

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