sonnet 43 (how do I love thee)

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  • Sonnet 43
    • Content
      • her passion is expressed through abstract metaphors and expressions fo love. she conveys her obsession with the use of physical comparisons to the extent of her feelings.
        • she tries to count and measure the depth of her vast love. the repetition of 'i love thee' reinforces the point and how much her love fills and completes her. she loves him with pure motivation and with the intensity of grief.
    • Tone
      • earnest, passionate, strong feeling
    • Purpose
      • strives to convince the addressee of how much she loves him. persuasive/ making a statement
    • Structure
      • petrarchan sonnet (puts forward argument; conclusion)
      • iambic pentameter
      • simple language is testament to the honesty and truth of what the poet is saying: direct/ unvarnished transparent language
    • Analysis
      • Lines 1-4
        • sense of a private conversation
        • everything within her soul obsesses with him, the love fills her
        • measure the vast extent of her love with abstract ideas-> physical (depth, breadth, height). it is so vast that she cannot see the edges of it
        • repetition of 'th' gives line movement= love is ongoing
        • repeating 'i love thee' reinforces the point/ passion
      • Lines 5-6
        • I love you in big ways but also in everyday, quiet ways
        • she needs him as much as other basic necessities of life (NEED not just desire= deep/ spiritual)
        • candles= homely, romantic
      • Lines 7-8
        • 'I love thee freely'= she can't help but love him, just as men naturally strive to do what is right, she freely loves
        • 'I love thee purely'= pure motivation, for the sake of loving. Just as men turn from praise to maintain humility, she purely loves
        • these two similes strengthen tone of love + adoration. give an innate sense of feeling to her love.
          • speaker doesn't want thanks/ attention, just like good and just men, she loves because it is what she has to do
      • Lines 9-10
        • She has as much passion for him as she does for things she despises (with the intensity of grief), with the total belief/ commitment/ steadfast faith of a child
      • Lines 11-12
        • 'lost saints' -people she once loved, that love has been transferred into love for her husband. She loves him with all that she is: her breath, smiles, tears, all that her life is made up of
      • Lines 13-14
        • She is willing to love him forever, if God grants her the ability to love him after death
          • Not only will she love him immortaly and for eternity, but she will love him better than she does presentl. her love will continue to gorw was time passes, not even death could destroy it.


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