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Sonnet 138 - William Shakespeare.

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Sonnet 138 This poem was written by William Shakespeare in the late 1590s, but was not published until 1609. The poem is about a man who is in a relationship with a much younger lady. Their relationship is very distrustful and they are very dishonest to each other. The man knows his wife is lying to him and he thinks she doesn't realise this. The man is just as bad though, because he is also being deceitful to her. But he is happy leaving it that way. Shakespeare may have been inspired to write this poem from his change of lifestyle when he moved from Stratford-upon-Avon, in the country, to the city of London. The changes of relationships and love that he saw may have influenced his writing. ...read more.


She might think that he is na�ve and will believe anything she tells him, 'she might think me some untutor'd youth,' She thinks this because she thinks he doesn't know about the truth, 'Unlearned in the world's false subtleties' Backs this idea up. The next quatrain starts with the writer saying because of her lies and deception he is 'vainly thinking that she thinks me young,' he is hoping that she really does think him young, he tries to make himself believe this. But it is hard for him since he knows that he is rather old, and 'she knows my days are past the best;' he knows that it is obvious to her. It seems as if the man may have gave up thinking in vain as we can see from 'Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue' he respects her for lying to make him feel better about himself, and because she lies so well. ...read more.


He could be trying to make himself believe that it is all a normal part of love so he doesn't feel bad. He then goes on to, in a way, disagree with himself, because he thinks 'age in love loves not to have years told' he is saying age shouldn't matter in love, no matter how great the age difference. The rhyming couplet at the end basically sums up the poem. 'Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,' can mean two things. The man lying to his wife and her lying to him, and the two still lying in bed together as a result of them not being truthful to each other and not breaking up. The last line, 'And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be' means that he is happy with the fact that they are both lying to each other, because it still makes him feel happy. ...read more.

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