From "The Seven Ages of Man".... Explain the meaning of the following: "and then the lover sighing like furnace"

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The meaning of "and then the lover sighing like furnace" in William Shakespeare’s “The Seven Ages of Man” from his comedy As You Like It is that the passion and expression of love can be akin to the heat and breathing of a furnace. Shakespeare writes of a lover heaving a sigh like a furnace and this could be because of a yearning for his heart’s desire – his lover. Therefore, there is an indication here of pining for a loved one, as if the lover cannot wait to see her again to enjoy time with her.

Conversely, the sighing could be because of unrequited love as well. In relationships, a heartfelt sigh can be expressed when a love relationship is not going as intended. One of the individuals may desire a deeper relationship; the other individual may want to tone things down or end a relationship. Consequently, the sigh is more like a groaning – a groaning furnace – that signifies the lover is exasperated and may feel that love is lost. It could be that the heat is going out of the...

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