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The Shakespearean sonnets are considered to be some of the most beautiful and powerful poems in English literature (Magill 6170).
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 98 has a 4-6-2-2 pattern. The sonnet uses a double couplet structure (Vendler 420). Almost all of Shakespeare’s sonnets are divided into 3 quatrains. Each quatrain has alternately rhyming lines, followed by a concluding couplet (Magill 6171).
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 98 is about “shadow and substance” Sonnets 53 and 101 are also about “shadow and substance” (Magill 2531).
Shakespeare’s sonnets can be divided into 2 groups. Sonnets 1-126 relate to a young man. Sonnets 127-152 relate to the “dark lady” (Magill 2530).
Sonnet 98 is a simpler version of Sonnet 97. It is thought that maybe Sonnet 98 was written before Sonnet 97 (Vendler 418).
“The second and third quatrain of both Sonnet 97 (‘How like a winter hath
my absence been’) and Sonnet 98 (‘From you have I been absent in the
spring’) are linked by muted anaphora in lines 5-9” (Booth 209).
Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses.
In the first line of the sonnet, springtime has come, and the young man is away from the lady he loves. In line 2, the man is referring to all the joys of spring, some examples are the birds laying eggs and all the different flowers that are blooming. Lines 3 and 4 of the sonnet are telling how spring makes you feel young again. The heavy Saturn is referring to the saturnine temperament, meaning sullen. Even though he is sad, spring cheers him up in some ways. Lines 5, 6, and 7 are telling about the birds laying eggs and all the different flowers that are blooming and how they smell. In lines 8, 9, and 10, the man has picked lilies and roses but he can’t enjoy them. In lines 11 and 12 the man is talking about how all these things remind him of his lady. Concluding the sonnet in lines 13 an...
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