How Do I Love Thee Essays

866 Words Jun 23rd, 2013 4 Pages
Whitney Perez
April 11, 2013
AP English

Poetry Quarter 3 Response Essay

In both poems, "How Do I Love Thee" and "The Definition of Love" Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Andrew Marvell use figurative language, imagery, diction and tone to depict love as a feeling and less on the object of love. Browning believes that love doesn't have boundaries, physical nor spiritual. However Marvell believes love and fate are an opposing force always battling. In this sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, love is everything and the poet tries to list the different types of love that she feels, and it becomes a new way of expressing her affection for "thee." In line 1of the sonnet Browning begins by stating a question that the
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The comparison of her love to her faith shows that she is dedicated and devoted to both, and that her love is not necessarily seen but it is felt. “The Definition of Love” by Andrew Marvell is about being in love with the idea of love but not being in love with the person. When he says “My Love” in the first stanza, he doesn't mean the woman he is in love with but Love itself. He starts by setting up his love as an impossible one, saying it was begotten “upon impossibility”. In stanza two he uses an oxymoron by saying, “Magnanimous Despair” and “feeble Hope”. Magnanimous means generous, however why would despair be generous and hope be feeble. In the third and fourth stanza Marvell mentions Fate. Fate has seen how perfect they are for each other but doesn’t let it happen. Marvell says it would be “her ruin” for them to be together. By that he implies that love is stronger than anything and when achieved “tyrannic” Fate could end itself. He couldn’t achieve it and is therefore left heart broken and weak. Marvell compared Fate to “iron” and “steel”. He uses those words to show how strong and immobile Fate is. Marvell gives us a glimpse of how he feels about love in the fifth stanza when he compares the lovers to the Earth's “poles”. The term “poles” is used as a form of distance and separation. Towards the end Marvell again highlights the fact that Fate interferes with their love because it keeps pulling them apart.
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