18 September 2013 The Difference in Love In comparing Sonnets 130 and 138, Shakespeare speaks about his love in each one. However, in one sonnet he describes his genuine love for his mistress in an unusual and unflattering terms but still declares his love for her; meanwhile, in the other sonnet, the persona's relationship is far less than perfect because they both lie and are together only to satisfy his or her own sexual desires. In sonnet 130, the mistress is compared to many objects that are thought to be beautiful and how she is nothing like them. She does not have eyes like the sun or have her lips a pretty red. The sonnet, from line one, immediately starts describing how his mistress is nothing great and perhaps not pretty at all. The speaker says how he has “seen roses damask'd, red and white,/ But no such roses see I in her cheeks” (lines 5-6). Again, the speaker is pointing out her flaws. Sonnet 130 describes the mistress’s unflattering self for the first twelve lines. He sees no great beauty. However, in the last two lines of the sonnet, he declares his true love for her. As read in the sonnet, “by heaven, I think my love as rare / As any she belied with false compare” (13-14). He recognizes that she is not perfect, and that nobody is perfect. However, one must learn to love someone with his or her flaws. These two lines in the sonnet convey the message that people who hold their loves to impossible standards are not being truthful. He must accept his mistress and love her for who she is because she is human, and no human being is perfect. Sonnet 138, however, has a very different approach towards love. In the first two lines of the sonnet, the persona speaks about how his lover swears she is telling the truth, but how he knows she is lying to him. There is a great pun created in these first two lines whenever the persona speaks about how he knows she lies to him. There is a double meaning to the word. The first meaning of the word “to tell a lie” being the interpreted definition of not telling the truth, and the second meaning of the word “lie” as in lying down with other men. The persona clearly knows his love is lying to him.
Not only does she lie to him, but he lies to her as well. He lies to her about his age so she will not leave him. As read in the sonnet, “She knows my days are past the best, / Simply I credit her false speaking tongue” ( 6-7). The