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Word Count: 567
In Shakespeares sonnet 138 the narrator depicts his relationship and its entanglement in lies Although the narrators lover is unfaithful both pretend to be oblivious to the situation Through punning and connotation Shakespeare manifests the same equivocations the narrator and his lover have expressed to each other Wordplay creating double meanings and fallacies allows the reader to experience the many underlying deceits fabricated to preserve their relationship Throughout the sonnet the connotations of the word truth manipulate the perceptions of the relationship In the first quatrain the narrators love swears that she is made of truth1 Immediately the audience speculates upon the meaning of truth It could mean the narrators love swears she is honest with him However because the narrators love is speaking truth also seems to connote fidelity Truth becomes more than honesty it becomes the fulfilled obligations of the relationship Through the second quatrain the narrator embellishes upon truth fidelity in the relationship through two other connotations of the word truth The narrator suggests that the womans amorous affairs external to the relationship are truths and the narrators hidden knowledge of this fact is another truth Through the three truths a paradox is created simple truth8 is suppressed8 to preserve the truth of fidelity In the third quatrain the narrator further solidifies the paradox by describing their relationship as seeming trust11 The word seeming implies that while the couple pretends to trust each other the trust is in fact a mask to hide the reality of the relationship fidelity is not preserved It just seems like it is Punning upon the word lie also manipulates the audience by presenting two different events within the same text through the words double meaning The narrator claims I know she lies2 Lie not only expresses her dishonesty but it is also a sexual pun describing her lying with people other than the narrator This creates another paradox within the relationship the lies are also the
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