Relationships are complicated. We are constantly searching for meaning and explanation in times of trial and tribulation. These complex times have often become the focus of numerous poets through the ages. William Shakespeareâ€™s â€œSonnet 130â€ and â€œSonnet 138,â€ and Ben Johnsonâ€™s â€œOn My First Sonâ€ are some of the many poems that reflect how as humans we must deal with emotionally complicated situations in our relationships with others.
In a relationship, trust is very hard to earn and easily lost. Trust allows a relationship to grow because there is not the constant worry of what the other person is doing. However, when trust is broken, like the situation in Shakespeareâ€™s â€œSonnet 138,â€ one must decide what actions and words to believe or hold in contempt. Shakespeare introduces the dilemma the speaker faces when he writes: â€œWhen my love swears that she is made of truthâ€ (Shakespeare line 1 759). When the speakerâ€™s wife lies about her infidelity, he wants to believe her. The speaker states, â€œI do believe her, though I know she liesâ€ (Shakespeare line 2 759). Literary critic, Alice Moore, believes that the speaker is dealing with an internal struggle between wanting to believe her and knowing she is lying. She continues by saying, â€œHe cannot escape his knowledge of her dishonesty yet he chooses to â€˜believeâ€™ otherwiseâ€ (Moore 16). At first the speaker makes excuses for not believing his wife, â€œThat she might think me some untutored youthâ€ (Levin 28, Shakespeare Line 3 759). But in the end, the dilemma the speaker still faces is leaving his love or living with her deceit. It is only human nature to want to believe a loved one; however, the damage from deception may be impossible to overcome.
The loss of a loved one is another emotionally challenging time we sometime face. W