Critical analysis of "How do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


The text of the Poem :

"how do I love thee? let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach when feeling out of sight
for the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need by Sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely as men strive from Right;
I love thee purely as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs and with my childhoods faith.
I love thee with the love I seem to lose
With my lost Saints and lovely with the breath,
Smiles tears of all my life and if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death"

how do i love thee by elizabeth barrett browning

So what's it all about its love sonnet written for Barrett Browning fiance Robert Browning who she later married and it is a pretty art Petrarchan sonnet so much differs from a Shakespearean sonnet. It still has fourteen lines but these are divided into an octave which has eight lines and a sestet of them of six lines the volter which is the turning point of the poem comes in the mind flying traditionally the poem expresses how intense love comparing her love to something spiritual and sacred and you can see this through and the sound of the poem is lots of similans lots of soft sounds and within its as well as the structure of a traditional love poem and the language that she uses to describe it how do I love leads begins in a rhetorical question it's clearly addressed to someone person to it and in this case, it's her fiance mother browning this is one of 44 sonnets which were published under reflection and called Sonnets from the Portuguese and while many people thought that they were written in Portuguese and then translated by Barrett Browning. She actually wrote all 44 of them and the reason she called them sonnets from the Portuguese is because the little Portuguese was her nickname from look around so they were addressed to him and how do I love thee suggesting she's struggling to a member or struggling to express everything that she loves about him and that's true of let me count. The ways suggesting that there are so many reasons that she loved sin that she can't and I love the depth and breadth and height is a semantic field of measurement and stretch. She cannot express her deep love for him and this is not a physical measurement that a measurement of the soul and there's a naturally repeated all the way through of I love thee and I love gives the poem a prayer-like quality movie often have a lot of anaphora in the bible and after are repeated phrases at the beginning of sentences listen, hunters, the religious imagery and the idea of her love being sacred and spiritual and by referencing Sun and candlelight. It shown that his love lights up her life and that's day the Sun and night as well so he's a constant enlightening presence for her and she links her love to good deeds and moral living. She believes her love is pure and free using the word freely suggests that even if he doesn't return her life she's still going to love him because and her feelings are so intense and so strong I left me with the passion put use in my old griefs his love helps her forget past troubles and the ellipsis confirms this. we're not give any details of past troubles there left to fade away my childhoods faith her love for him and she compares to childish faith so that childish belief that things will be okay and that kind of blind faith that she wasn't so frequently have but it also compares to the love that she gave religion as a child almost as if he's a replacement for that and her love is completely devoted to him every breath is for him and the smiles tears of all my life's he's going to take the good times and the bad times and she will love him forever. She still believes that God is in charge of her life so she still has respect for religion she says if God choose and but the fact she says I shall look I shall but love thee better after death and love is not confined to this earth but beyond death to it links to the marriage vows in a traditional wedding ceremony and till death do us part and the last point is that the old shaman that throughout this poem creates a flow to show how our love continues and can't be stopped.

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