How Do I Love Thee?

Topics: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese Pages: 3 (710 words) Published: February 9, 2006
How do I love thee? By Elizabeth Browning

The poem, "How do I love thee" is a passionate affirmation of love from Elizabeth to her lover Robert Browning. In this poem, Elizabeth declares her spiritual and pure love for Robert and describes the many ways in which she feels for him, and therefore defines her love. On the poem she express three different ideas of love which are the depth of her love, an attempt to describe the indescribable and the comparison to known feelings and interactions.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in England in 1806. In 1821 she injured her spine as a result of a fall and in 1838, after her brother died in 1838 she apparently became a permanent invalid. She spent the majority of her time in her room writing poetry. In 1844, Robert Browning wrote to Elizabeth admiring her Poems. He continued to write to her and they were engaged in 1845. Her parents disapproved her relationship with Robert Browning, so after 20 months of correspondence and secret meetings they secretly got married and moved out to Italy. "How Do I Love Thee?" was written in 1845 while she was being courted by Robert Browning. The poem is also titled Sonnet XLIII from Sonnets From the Portuguese, since Robert used to call her "My little Portuguese" because of her darker, Mediterranean complexions inherited from her family.

How do I love thee? Is one of the most famous love poems written by Browning. In this poem, Elizabeth declares her spiritual and pure love for Robert. The poem starts with the question "How do I love thee?" and through the poem she attempt to answer the question by counting the ways she loves him. Elizabeth uses the expression "I love thee" eight times through the whole poem. The first time she states that she loves him "to the depth, breadth and height my soul can reach", on this lines she bases her affections into her Religious beliefs since according to many religions a person's soul is a spiritual part of a human being that is...
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