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Transcript of Sonnet 43
(line 5-6) Petrarchan (Italian) sonnet Elizabeth Barrett Browning •The speaker states that her love is not for attention or praise, but that she loves him freely and modestly
•The speaker then states she loves him with equal intensity that people put towards past mistakes or children put towards faith in the world around them
•The speaker states that she loves him with extreme faith and with every emotion she feels
•She finally states that if permitted by God her love will continue in the afterlife The speaker poses the question, “How do I love thee?” which drives the poem forward as she then decides to count the ways in which she expresses her love for him
The speaker then comes to the conclusion that when she tries to see how far her love goes she notices that it stretches just as far as her own “…Being” and, “…soul.”
The speaker then says that even though she feels this strong, passionate love she is fine with living with him on a regular day to day basis The speaker emphasizes his/her love by posing the question of "how" as opposed to "why," implying that love does not have to be explained, it is described.
Further, the words, "I love thee," are repeated throughout the length of the poem and do not vary, showing the consistency of the love. The speaker uses a simile to articulate his/her love by allowing the reader to see the comparison of his/her love and human aspirations to do what is right. "I shall but love thee better after death." (line 14) The power of the speaker's love will withstand the worst of life's obstacles, including that of death.
In fact, the speaker states that his/her love will increase in the afterlife. Written in iambic pentameter It is a fourteen-line rhymed lyric poem She wrote a series of 44 sonnets, in secret, about the intense love she felt for her husband (Robert Browning) in Sonnets from the Portuguese Theme Statement Love is a constant, immeasurable force that is unaffected by all, including death.