Syntax/Word Choice analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 138.
Shakespeare Sonnet 138 Active Reading General Notes/Ideas: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG pattern, 10 syllables per line (iambic pentameter) By definition it is a Shakespearean sonnet Partially a reason why the word order is awkward throughout the poem There are a few imperfect rhymes lies & subtleties, best & suppressed Repetition of truth, lie, love, age, youth The poem starts off with kind of a negative tone (his lying lover) but then switches to be more positive (his acceptance of her). The word love in the beginning seems to be referring to a lover, or a specific person. But later on in the poem it becomes a more general, and love itself seems to be personified which is interesting. Word Choice: swears has a powerful sense to it rather than just says wherefore, thus, o archaic words, have a very poetic feel to them though therefore interesting placement for this word, it starts off the rhyming couplet, which is essentially the conclusion to the poem, so therefore sounds like its summarizing lie interesting because it seems to have a double meaning. The verb, to lie, seems awkward here because he is lying with her. Usually you lie to someone, or about something, but not lie with. It sounds more like the other meaning of the word lie, as in to lay (horizontally) next to someone, and the verb phrase lie with makes more sense. It was likely an intentional double meaning because lying is the main theme of the poem. o Therefore I lie with her, and she with me o This is also an interesting idea, because lies could have a double meaning earlier in the poem as well I do believe her, though I know she lies, as in she fails to tell the truth, but also lies as in being intimate with other men. age loves the prepositional phrase makes this line awkward because hes paired the words love and loves directly beside each other, sounds strange outloud. O loves best habit love here is a noun, but as the subject it seems strange because hes personifying love when love takes possession of best habit. Syntax/Parts of Speech: There is a lot of unusual word order for Modern English. we flattered be subject, object, verb Thus vainly thinking she thinks me young me sounds awkward, seems to be the indirect object, because she seems to be the subject ? prep. adv. verb p.p. adv. p.p. v. adj.
But wherefore says she not / she is unjustThis sentence has awkward phrasing, loosely translated means Why does she not admit she is lying. Its the says she not that makes the line sound awkward because of the unfamiliar word order.