Necessity Of Love In Browning´S Sonnets From The Portuguese

1174 words - 5 pages

Love is the ubiquitous force that drives all people in life. If people did not want, give, or receive love, they would never experience life because it is the force that completes a person. Although it often seems absent, people constantly strive for this ever-present force as a means of acceptance. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is an influential poet who describes the necessity of love in her book of poems Sonnets from the Portuguese. In her poems, she writes about love based on her relationship with her husband – a relationship shared by a pure, passionate love. Browning centers her life and happiness around her husband and her love for him. This life and pure happiness is dependent on their love, and she expresses this outpouring and reliance of her love through her poetry. She uses imaginative literary devices to strengthen her argument for the necessity of love in one’s life. The necessity of love is a major theme in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnet 43” and “Sonnet 29.”
Browning’s “Sonnet 43” vividly depicts the human dependency of love. She uses irony to emphasize that love overpowers everything. Browning starts the poem with “How do I love thee” (Browning). Ironically, she answers the very question she presents the reader by describing her love and the extent to which she loves (Kelly 244). The ironic question proposes a challenge to the reader. Browning insinuates how love overpowers so that one may overcome the challenge. People must find the path of love in life to become successful and complete. Also, the diction in “Sonnet 43” supports the idea that love is an all-encompassing force. The line, “if God choose, I shall love thee better after death” means that love is so powerful that even after someone passes away love continues to grow stronger. Death generally takes on a negative, morbid connotation; however, “although this poem ends on the word death, the mood does not feel as depressing as it does celebratory, a person so in love, even the end of life on this earth does not mean the end of love” (Goodman 242). Even in the darkness of death, love can triumph and be the compelling force that continues to hold the living together despite the circumstances. Irony and diction both adequately support the idea of love being a universal force upon which all people are dependent in life.
Furthermore, rhythm also strengthens the power of love in Browning’s “Sonnet 43.” Browning does not use a set rhyme scheme, but she emphasizes the ways in which she loves by ending each statement with a powerful word, such as “Right” and “Praise” (Browning). In addition, the lack of rhyme scheme also describes the way in which the author loves (Goodman241). The words do not meant to rhyme; instead, they add a new meaning of how to love. There is no set way to love; however, because people have a certain reliance on it, they love in their own unique ways. The structure and rhyme of the poem completely rely upon the explanation of how to love, just as...

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