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Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Letter Analysis

Decent Essays
In April of 1857, English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a letter to address to Napoleon the III. The letter was about the banishing of a French writer, named Victor Hugo, whose writings were bashing the government. Even though this letter was never sent, Elizabeth was trying to get Napoleon to pardon Victor. Elizabeth used rhetorical strategies to make her letter seem more appealing to Napoleon. Elizabeth begins her letter to Napoleon by asking for him to “have patience with [her]” while he reads this letter. Elizabeth wants Napoleon to reads her words carefully, and she wants him to know that her words are not spoken against him. Elizabeth wants the Emperor to know that she is trying to help him, not anger him. Elizabeth explains…show more content…
She states that Napoleon’s child may “recall that his imperial father was great enough to overcome this great poet with magnanimity.” Elizabeth is telling Napoleon that his children will be proud that he did not let what someone says about him affect him, rather than getting frustrated and banishing the person who made the statements about him. Elizabeth states that she believes it was easier to write a letter to Napoleon than his wife, because “[she] felt that it would be harder for her majesty to pardon an offense against the Emperor.” Elizabeth thinks that the Empress would take what Hugo says more personal and would be more offended by the statements. Elizabeth decides it would be better to send a letter to Napoleon, because he would be more open to reading what she has to say, however; she think the Empress would be more upset and then proceed to do something further than just banishing Hugo. Even though this letter was written more than 200 years ago, and was never actually sent, it still impacts the way people feel about Napoleon today. It shows that women like Elizabeth Barrett Browning were just trying to have an opinion. She was just a woman trying to get her point across to Emperor Napoleon the III as to why Victor Hugo should not be
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