Analysis Of The Poem ' How Do I Love Thee ' Essay example

1990 Words Oct 29th, 2016 8 Pages
The poem “How Do I Love Thee” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a sonnet that follows the pattern of an Italian/Petrarchan sonnet. This form of sonnet has the following characteristics: it contains one octave with the rhyme scheme of ABBA ABBA, sestet with a rhyme scheme of CDCDCD, and it is written in fourteen lines of iambic pentameter with some variations to provide emphasis on the meanings of certain lines. On the surface of this poem, one notices the speaker’s love for the poem’s recipient. However, beneath the surface there is a deeper version that consists of figurative language, diction, and form that introduces a love that is all-encompassing and of a higher prestige. The speaker answers the question of “how” instead of “why” because she believes what she has is real and there is no doubt as to why she loves him, so she explains how far the extent of her feelings will go.
The first thing to notice is how the speaker is an unknown figure and that the gender is also questionable. However, one could assume that the speaker is a female since the author is also female. Another reason why the reader might assume the speaker is female is because in line 7, it says “as men strive for Right.” This would support the idea that the speaker is of the opposite sex as men and she is professing her love to a male who is also unknown to the reader. The speaker starts the poem by saying, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” (1). This is more of a rhetorical question because…

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