Analysis of How Do I Love Thee

Topics: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Love, Emotion Pages: 1 (460 words) Published: June 27, 2012
In Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem, How Do I Love Thee, love is everything. For Ms Browning, love is not a material, everyday concept but an infinite, eternal hold. The poem is not related to how she loves or why, but just the way in which she does so; freely and purely. It speaks of a valuable human emotion that so many people feel at some point in their lives whether or not the feeling is reciprocated. Ms Browning attempts to present this within the sonnet in such a way that can be appreciated and related to. Essentially, the whole symbol of the sonnet is the concept of love and how it can be given. The lines “I love thee to the depth and breadth and height, My soul can reach when feeling out of sight” is a metaphor to explain the depth of her love for her fiancé. She also refers to the sun and candle light in the poem in the 5th and 6th line. She is using the image of light being constant and abstract saying that her love will forever go on but with a sense of mystery. The sun is also a very well known image for being strong, powerful, and good. The sun is something human beings can’t live without and this is how Ms Browning is displaying her love. She can’t live without him. By using ‘sun’ she can also link it to ‘love’, seeing as for her, that is what her love is, powerful and passionate. However, on the other end of the spectrum, Ms Browning uses a reference to grief and loss. This creates a more realistic edge, as the soft and warm feelings that she first displays are faintly idealistic. Typically, hurt and loss can bring a more intense feeling of love, which Browning shows in the 9th and 10th line. She also says “I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears of all my life!” This implies that no matter what is going on in her life, whether something horrible happened or it’s just a normal day, she trusts him to stay by her side and that she will love every moment of it. As a result, Ms Browning created one of the most recognised and compelling romantic...
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