The majority of the 152 Sonnets Shakespeare wrote focus on love. Shakespeare wrote poems of admiration as well as poems of suffering because of love and separation. Shakespeare often used metaphors in his descriptions.
Sonnet 18 is a poem of admiration and glorification of Shakespeare's lover. Sonnet 97 is a poem about being separated from his lover and Sonnet 130 is a poem for the "Dark Lady" which is descriptive but is not nearly as flattering or focused on outer beauty as Sonnet 18.
Sonnet 18 is a poem that glorifies the subject and his or her beauty. Shakespeare uses metaphors to describe his lover. He uses the season of summer as a basis of comparison to the person he is writing about. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? / Thou art more lovely and more temperate". Shakespeare states that this person is even more beautiful than a summer day. They are also gentler than a harsh sun, which shines brightly and causes the sun to beat too hotly and raise the temperature too high. He refers to the sun with another metaphor, "the eye of heaven".
Shakespeare also says that summer goes by too quickly. He is metaphorically saying that the presence of this person will end shortly because they will die too soon and "autumn" will begin. Even though they will be gone, their beauty will live on through the words he has written about them. "So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, / So long lives this, and gives life to thee.".
In Sonnet 97, Shakespeare also uses one of the four seasons as a metaphor. Instead of being a poem of admiration, Sonnet 97 is a poem about the separation from this person he loves. .
In this poem, Shakespeare uses winter to describe the pain of being away from his lover. "How like a winter hath my absence been/From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! / What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!". Even though it is presently autumn, and autumn is considered the most beautiful of all the seasons, he feels dark and empty inside because they have been separated.