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Analysis of "How Do I Love Thee" by Elizabeth Barret Browning

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Introduction

Analysis of "How Do I Love Thee?" Born in 1806, Elizabeth Barret Browning was a female author in the mid 1800's. Browning's "Sonnets from the Portuguese" was published in two volumes titled Poems. "How do I love Thee?" is sonnet number XLIII from that work, published in 1850(Browning 1). In "How Do I Love Thee?", Browning's techniques of word choice, structure, and style can be unfolded and analyzed to give the reader new knowledge and better understanding of this piece of literature. In "How Do I Love Thee", Browning uses word choice as a method of portraying her message to the reader. "I Love thee with the passion put to use" is a strong descriptive sentence using distinctive word choice, to solidify the feelings of love (Browning 9). ...read more.

Middle

The fourteen-lines of this poem along with the use of the rhyme pattern of abba-abba clearly meet the criteria for a sonnet. With the structure of a sonnet, Browning was able to develop a lyric in iambic pentameter as noted in the rhyme scheme of "ways" and "grace" (1-4). "Height" and "sight" as well as "light" and "right" are used to really capture the mood of the poem and keep it in strict sonnet form (2-7). With the structure of a sonnet, Browning ended the poem in a cd/cd rhyme pattern using the words "lose" and "choose" for the C portion. With the D segment ending in "Breath" and "Death" (10-14). The last word in the poem, "Death" is also symbolic in regard to Spatio-temporal aspects of the poem, as "Death" is also what ends our lives (14). ...read more.

Conclusion

(11). Browning must have loved before, if now she loves with a love she thought she had lost. Also, the fact that Browning writes that she loves with all her life and plans to love even more after she dies is a huge statement in support of her undying love (12- 14). Browning's creative style is a necessity and definitely adds to the creation of her strong purpose of love in this sonnet. Browning's spectacular "How Do I Love Thee?", may at first seem vague, but with a more thorough approach the reader can gain new insight into Browning's purpose. Browning uses her unique style and word choice to spice the poem and give it flavor, while the sonnet format keeps the poem simple. Browning proved her excellence and innovativeness as an author, in the multi dimensions of "How Do I love Thee?". 2 ...read more.

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