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"HOW DO I LOVE THEE ? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS..."

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by

sam bryan

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of "HOW DO I LOVE THEE ? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS..."

SPEAKER Obstacle 1 Obstacle 2 Obstacle 3 Structure???? -browning wrote this poem as a declaration of her love for her husband Robert browning

- the audience would more likely be people who are in love or have ever been in love with someone, if you can relate to this poem then it
is probably for you Figurative Language -Lines 2-4: These three lines introduce sound play within the poem. In line two, three words have a "th" sound, and the word height comes close.

-In lines three and four, the poet uses assonance, repeating long "e" vowel sounds in words like reach, feeling, being, and ideal.

-Lines 7-9: These lines begin with the same phrase, "I love thee," as do lines two, five, and eleven. This structure emphasizes that the poem is a list of ways of loving, rather than an argument HOW DO I LOVE THEE?
...LET ME COUNT THE WAYS by:Elizabeth Barrett Browning Purpose and Audience Lines 2-4: The speaker uses a metaphor to describe the extent of her love, comparing her soul to a physical three-dimensional object in the world. (1806-1861) Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. Much of Barrett Browning’s work carries a religious theme. No female poet was held in higher esteem among cultured readers in both the United States and England than Elizabeth Barrett Browning during the nineteenth century. Barrett's poetry had an immense impact on the works of Emily Dickinson who admired her as woman of achievement. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death. -browning wrote this poem for her husband so it is believed that the the speaker in this poem is browning
-the way the poem is written leaves the gender of both parties in the relationship completely ambiguous. That's part of what makes it such a great love poem for the ages – anybody can send it to anyone else, without even changing a word. That gives you some idea of how undefined the character of this speaker is.
-The speaker here is a shadowy and uncertain figure. We don't know any concrete details about her. But there are two things we're pretty sure of: she really loves someone, and she's really interested in listing and describing all the different kinds of love she feels for him. We also get the sense that she loves someone intensely but also has "old griefs" – things she's bitter about – and "lost saints" – people she's lost her faith in and feels uncertain about.00 She also talks about her "childhood's faith" as though it was in the far distant past, which suggests that this is a mature, older speaker, not a young girl experiencing her first crush. Lines 5-6: some of the only lines in this poem that actually use imagery – "sun and candle-light" – and even then, it's only images of different kinds of light, not necessarily definite objects. Lines 12-14: claiming you're going to love someone "better after death," whether it's your death or their own, is something of a hyperbole. the poem was published in 1850 during the Victorian era, most people mistake this poem to be written by the great william shakespear
THE END :)
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