Sonnet 144 Analysis

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The fusion in the tormenting relation within the love triangle expressing the emotional instability of the speaker is presented in sonnet 144 as the confusion of the ‘better angel’ with the evil spirit that reflects in the rhymes and internal construction of the third quatrain. The speaker confesses his suspicions with hesitation on the fact that there could be a love affair between his lovers:
And whether that my angel turned fiend
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell,
But being both from me, both to each friend
I guess one angel in another’s hell. (l.9-12)
It is clear that visually the word ‘fiend’ and ‘friend’ in the rhymes produce a direct association with the content of the first line in this quatrain where the speaker manifest his
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Although the precariousness of the speaker’s prison in sonnet 133 is confirmed in the couplet as he cannot prevent his mistress from using ‘rigour in [his] jail’ against his friend, the couplet repeats the model of the prison : ‘And yet thou wilt, for I, being pent in thee/ Perforce I am thine, and all that is in me’. The poetic persona predicts here that his mistress will take his friend but he stay focused on the prison metaphor that is cleverly reconstructed through punctuation by splitting the pronoun I from the verb to be. This has the effect of isolating the speaker and the verb ‘pent’ reinforces the idea of his imprisonment. Besides, the splitting of the verb to be from the pronoun reproduces the idea that the speaker has two parts as in quatrain two where he refers to himself and his ‘next self’. Then, concluding that the lady possesses ‘all that is in me’, the speaker reunites he and his lovers inside the jail …show more content…
Developing the speaker’s suspicions of his two angels, the good and the evil, having sexual intercourse suggested by the word ‘hell’, in the couplet his state has now transformed into a state of doubt as he affirms, ‘Yet this I shall ne’er know, but live in doubt/ Till my bad angel fire my good one out’. However, the poetic persona maintains his allusions to ‘hell’ through the verb ‘fire’ that stands for the lady’s lower part. As suggested by Kerrigan the angel here appear to have ‘become an animal’ that has ‘to be smoked out of its borrow, the lady’s vagina’(Kerrigan 60). The idea of the angel being animalised and driven away from the lady through fire correspond with the interpretation of Duncan jones where Shakespeare can be suggesting that the youg man is now venerally infected by the corrupted lady. This would be the only proof to release the speaker out of doubt but this is not resolved in the couplet, it is only suspended as an expression of the speaker’s thoughts. Moreover, what might even emphasise the connection of the three characters is that the speaker does not make clear if he has also being ’fire out too’ by the lady, infected by her in the past, since she is also his lover. Therefore, in the

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