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Methought I Saw my Late Espoused Saint (Sonnet 23) Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Settle in for some good old-fashioned book learnin', because Shmoop's about to drop some knowledge on you. "Methought I Saw my Late Espoused Saint" is what's known as a sonnet. If you want the...

Speaker

Most people agree that "Methought I Saw my Late Espoused Saint" is one of those rare poems where the speaker and the author of the poem match up. In other words, for once it's totally fair to call...

Setting

We're inside the speaker's head, where he's having a really beautiful, heaven-sent vision of his wife. Kind of like in a dream, his mind wanders all over the place while he's thinking about it. Fir...

Sound Check

Milton is the master of the stately sounding poem, and "Methought I Saw my Late Espoused Saint" is no exception. Not only does he use grand concepts drawn from Greek mythology, the Old Testament, a...

What's Up With the Title?

The poem we know as "Methought I Saw my Late Espoused Saint" is John Milton's twenty-third sonnet and was not given a title in its first publication. It was literally just called Sonnet 23. Super c...

Calling Card

Losing his sight at a young age made Milton really interested in the meaning of sight—and we're not just talking about literal sight here either. In this poem, an account of a "vision," the abili...

Tough-o-Meter

Make no mistake about it, this poem is tough. Sentences stretch over five lines, forcing you scramble just to find the subject and the verb, which are often separated by several lines and in the ex...

Trivia

The woman to whom "Methought I Saw…" probably refers to Milton's second wife, Katherine Woodcock, who died on February 3, 1658, after just over a year of marriage and three months after giving bi...

Steaminess Rating

Although "Methought I Saw…" is a poem about how a grieving widow reunites with his late wife in a vision, they don't reunite in that way. In fact, just as his wife leans down to embrace him, the...

Allusions

Alcestis (2-4)Leviticus 12 (5-6)

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