What Does Shakespeare's Sonnet 43 Mean?


Quick Answer

Shakespeare's Sonnet 43 explores the theme of absence. The poet writes that in the absence of the youth, nighttime consolation only comes because he can view the youth in his dreams. The poem explores the theme of shadows and reality.

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Full Answer

Sonnet 43 is the first of 16 sonnets Shakespeare wrote on the theme of absence. In this sequence, Shakespeare uses double meanings to show how the youth's absence impacts the poet. The youth was often the subject of Shakespeare's sonnets, and in Sonnet 43, the poet describes how night is better than day because at night he can dream the youth is there. The world of the poet is inverted, with night becoming day and day becoming night, as he struggles to deal with the youth's absence.

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