How Do I Love Thee? Let me Count the Ways by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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A flame of passion is contained within the heart, yet is love contained in a mere flame of passion? This timeless saying embodies the ultimate declaration of love written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. “How Do I Love Thee? Let me Count the Ways” is a poem bathed in rhyme and inundated in sentimental avowals. This sonnet shows the perpetual love that Browning shares with her husband and how that love can never be destroyed by any power of human or spiritual nature (Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s: Sonnet 45). Based on answering one, seemingly simple yet complex, question, “how do I love thee?” (Browning Line 1) is what this poem is based on. Using literary tools and techniques, Browning unleashes the powerful emotions that hide behind the ink …show more content…

“I love thee to the level of everyday’s/Most quite need, by sun and candlelight” (Browning Line 5-6) Browning continues using anaphora with the continually repeated “thee” (Browning Line 5) and “the” (Browning Line 5). Explaining how her love is persistent throughout every second of the day, even in the simplest of needs, synecdoche is used in “sun” (Browning Line 6) for day and “candle-light” (Browning Line 6) for night.
Browning likens her deep feelings to religious, spiritual, emotional and even political aspiration and goes on to employ repetition, the metaphor of Christian religious faith and a musical metrical and rhyme scheme to develop and convey her ideas beautifully (Swanhorst). She addresses her sweetheart with simplicity, charm and a refreshing innocence: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. /I love thee to the depth and breadth and height/my soul can reach" (Browning Lines 1-3) is deceptively simple and will be repeated many times in different ways. In order to express her wild and free feelings in a very restricted sonnet form, Browning uses repetition often to help her fit in with the stresses and unstresses of the sonnet pattern. The iambic meter dictates strict adherence. Moving on, the word “freely” (Browning Line 7) not only evokes ideas of freedom in

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