Wordplay in Sonnet 129

Wordplay Examples in Sonnet 129:

Sonnet 129 2

"spirit..."   (Sonnet 129)

“Spirit” was a common euphemism for an erection that came from the phrase “to raise a spirit.” “Spirit” can also mean one’s soul, figuratively meaning he has wasted his soul by enacting this sin. Here, the speaker introduces the spiritual crisis that he will explore throughout the poem using sexual metaphors.

"bloody..."   (Sonnet 129)

As the scholar Stephen Booth points out, “bloody” works as a pun here. Figuratively, it connotes violence and lack of reason. Literally, it refers to the speaker’s erection.