She Walks in Beauty

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George Gordon Byron was a well known romantic poet in the 19th century, a passionate womanizer as well as a hero in Greece. He was born in London in 1788, and became a Lord in 1798 when he inherited the title and the estate from his great-uncle (Gamber). Thus he became the well known Lord Byron. Several months before meeting his first wife, Lord Byron attended a party at Lady Sitwell's at June 1814 (Gamber). Mrs. Wilmot, Lord Byron’s beautiful cousin, attended the party in a black mourning dress. The poet became captivated by his cousin’s alluring beauty; her fair face contrasting with her dark hair and dress. Inspired by the opposing shades that created such an attractive woman, he wrote a poem about her in 1814 (Gamber). In Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty,” motifs, personification and imagery express the theme that the combining of light and dark reflect a perfect inner and outer beauty. Lord Byron connects two pairs of motifs in “She Walks in Beauty” to establish the theme. One motif is dark and light while the other is inner and outer beauty. Throughout the poem he combines the negative and positive things of a woman and creates a perfect whole (“Lord”). “She walks in beauty, like the night/ Of cloudless climes and starry skies;”(1-2) These first two lines combine night with stars to illustrate that without stars the night would be a black void, but together, they illustrate a shimmering sky. “And all that’s best of dark and bright/ Meet in her aspect and her eyes:/ Thus mellow’d to that tender light”(3-5) Here two opposing forces meet in this woman to create a mellowed whole (“She”). This ties back to the theme because the inner and outer beauty of the woman act as positive reflections of each other as the outcome of the balance in between dark and light. “The smiles that win, the tints that glow.” (15) The woman has a tender aspect and a glowing smile, both of which are attractive outer beauties. “A mind at peace with all below,/ A heart whose love is...
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