Sonnet Notes

If Shakespeare's sonnets were ever in a sequence, they are not now.  In their first publication, they had what seems to be a random order.  We don't see the progression we see in other sonnet sequences.

Sonnet 116

all the world changes but love does not.
Line 3 Love is not true if it changes when the person loved is altered or ages.
Fidelity~Good looks will fade, but love remains if it is true.
 Sonnet 130
"Blazon"-a poetic device which describes the various parts of a person.  It's especially popular in sonnet writing.  Bugs Bunny's friend Pepe le Peue is very fond of the blazon - your eyes are like limpid pools, your teeth are like pearls, etc.

Blonde hair and white skin represented purity. Her hair is described as black wires; her skin as brown.

This poem is a satire- it is making fun of the conventional poetic description of ladies.
Dark Lady- she may be his mistress, or evil. Ironic blazon - cuts her down.

 Sonnet 138~

A married man is having an affair but expects his mistress and wife not to sleep with anyone else.
He knows she is lying to him; and thinks he is naive.
Both are lying-she is when she she's telling the truth; he-when he says he believes her:

They observe the formalities of romance.  They are acting out a plot where they pretend that she is faithful & that he is young.  Their theme song should be, "Third Rate Romance, Low Rent Rendezvoux."

The last lines are a play on words.  "Lie" has two meanings - to have sex with, and to tell an untruth.

They cover their faults with lies to make each other happy.