Sonnet 43

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  • Sonnet 43
    • How do I love thee?
      • Structure
        • repetition
          • "I love thee"used eight times and reflects the devotion the poet feels for her lover as well as the persistent nature of that love.
          • "Depth and breath and height" to suggest this poem is comprehensive; it aims to fully define the poet's love.
          • Repetition here also suggests breathlessness and excitement.
      • rhetorical question implies a conversation between lovers, and the exclamation mark at the end of the first line makes the poem seem lighthearted and playful.
    • let me count the ways.
      • can list what is good about him
      • rhetorical question implies a conversation between lovers, and the exclamation mark at the end of the first line makes the poem seem lighthearted and playful.
    • I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
      • measurable love
      • Structure
        • repetition
          • "I love thee"used eight times and reflects the devotion the poet feels for her lover as well as the persistent nature of that love.
          • "Depth and breath and height" to suggest this poem is comprehensive; it aims to fully define the poet's love.
          • Repetition here also suggests breathlessness and excitement.
    • My soul can reach,
    • when feeling out of sight
    • For the ends of being and ideal grace.
      • compared to weighty, important concepts. Browning's use of capital letters emphasises these words.
    • I love thee to the level of every day's
      • as they turn from praise.
        • compared to weighty, important concepts. Browning's use of capital letters emphasises these words.
        • simile
      • most need quiet,
        • Not the normal kind of love
      • I love thee with the passion put to use
        • and with my childhood's faith.
          • Cant see the relation ending
        • by sun and candlelight.
          • Bright future
        • as men strive for right;
          • simile
        • In my old griefs,
        • I love thee with a love i seemed to lose
          • I love thee freely,
            • I love thee purely,
              • Context
                • Sonnet 43 is part of a longer sonnet sequence of 44 sonnets called Sonnets from the Portuguese. Other famous examples of the sonnet sequence include Sir Philip Sydney's Astrophil and Stella and Shakespeare's sonnets.
                • Elizabeth Barret Browning was a prominent Victorian poet. She suffered from lifelong illness, despite which she married the poet and playwright Robert Browning, who was a major influence on her work, and to whom Sonnet 43 is addressed.
              • With my lost saints-
                • religious imagery
              • I love thee with with the breath,
                • She is passionate in her explanation.
              • Smiles tars of all my life!
                • She is passionate in her explanation.
              • -and if God choose,
                • religious imagery
              • I shall love thee better after death
                • Negative word "death" contrasts with the
              • form
                • Sonnet 43 is the length of a traditional sonnet (14 lines) but otherwise does not follow the rules.
                • There is a fairly regular rhyme scheme, but this is flexible, and Browning often makes use of assonance, which is striking because the poem is about defining the perfect love, and yet the poem avoids perfection

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