Comparison between sonnet 130 and 45

Better Essays
Topics: Poetry, Sonnet
Minora Ngwa
Eng. 1020
Compare and Contrast.
10/24/13.

“My Mistress’ eyes are nothing like the Sun (1609) & “How Do I Love Thee?” (1850). The poems “How do I love Thee” and “My mistress’ Eyes are Nothing like the Sun” are beautiful Petrarchan sonnets with a common theme which is love. Both poets talk about his/her love for another person. Though they are Petrarchan sonnets, they both have their differences and similarities in their form, figures of speech and subject matter. ‘How do I love Thee?’ is a poem written by Elizabeth Browning in 1850 in which she explains her intense love for a man. This is a Petrarchan sonnet; made up of fourteen lines, contains an octave, sestet, and volte. It is written in iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme of the octave being different from the sestet; that is abba, abba, cdcdcd to make the poem a question and answer poem. The octave poses a rhetorical question in the first line of the poem saying “how much do I love thee?” and the sestet gives the answer to how much she loves him. She uses alliterations like thee/ they, soul /sight, and passion/put to give rhythm to the poem. Elizabeth Browning expresses an intense love for her man in which she says she loves him to the depth and breadth and height her soul can reach implying the extent and wideness to which she feels for him. She says she loves him so much so that she can take care of his needs in the day and in the night and she uses the sun and candle to express the day light which gives one a visual imagery of what she means. In line seven, Elizabeth Browning says she loves her man freely and purely which means that she loves him genuinely and willingly without expecting anything in return. She is faithful to her husband, with her love as innocent as that of a child as she explains in line ten. The theme of the poem is about intense love for the man, as intense as she says in line fourteen that even after death she will still love her husband, meaning



Cited: Browning, Elizabeth. "How Do I Love Thee?" Portable Literature, Eighth Edition Eds. Kirszner & Stephen R. Mandell. Boston, 2013. Print. Steele, Felicia Jean. "Shakespeare 's 'Sonnet 130 '." The Explicator 62.3 (2004): 132+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 7 Nov. 2013. William, Shakespeare. “My Mistress’ Eyes are nothing Like the Sun”. Portable Literature. Eds. Kirzner & Mandell. Boston, 2013. Print. .

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