Sonnet 138

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February 27, 2013
Deception in Love

Love is an essential emotion among human beings. This feeling is innate amongst us because it is the only feeling, out of our many, that can make us feel high or low at any given time; not to mention a crucial emotion that can seem romantic, sad and or twisted. Although, one would think that love is this; or should be a perfect item, Shakespeare prove us wrong other wise. In sonnet 138, he portrays an unusual kind of love between a young man and an older woman. Aside from their age differences, their relationship is base on mutual deception. Though this young fellow is no “untutored youth” his lover depicts him to be, he sees right through her suppressed truth. Yet, he pretends to be for his love. “and in our faults by lies we flattered be” (14). In translation, and we both flatter ourselves by lying about each other's faults. In this essay, I will explain Shakespeare's sonnet 138 by breaking it down through the structure of a sonnet. Octave I & II and Sestet or Volta.

In the first four lines, Octave I, Shakespeare states the problem or dilemma the young man is going through, portrayed through the poem. Noting that this quadrant consist of a pattern of a-b-a-b “When my love swears that she is made of trutha

I do believe her though I know she lies.b
That she might think me some untutored youth,a
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.”b(4)
In this quatrain the young man explains that, though his mistress swears she is entirely truthful he still believes in her deception, yet, he sees right through her false words. Tricking her into thinking what she perceives him to be, a naïve young man who is oblivious the world and the games that people play. With this in mind we move in to the next section Octave II.

In the next four lines, Octave II, Shakespeare develops the dilemma that the young man has bought up, noting that this quadrant consist of a pattern of c-d-c-d. “Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me...
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