Poetry of William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Browning

Categories: William Shakespeare

Elizabeth Barrett Browning composed Sonnet 43 throughout the prime of the Victorian Period, which lasted the duration of Queen Victoria’s throne between 1832 and 1901. Like a few of the works throughout the Victorian duration, Sonnet 43 was a reflective piece about the love of her life, Robert Browning. Elizabeth Browning showed this reflection by addressing her own posing question, “How do I enjoy thee?” William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30 however, was written throughout the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, between 1559 and 1603.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets likewise were written throughout the age of the Renaissance, in which political modifications such as reformation caused an ultimate rebirth of ideology and development.

The style of Sonnet 43 is extreme love that will become more powerful after death. Browning begins the sonnet with a question – “How do I like thee?” In the sonnet, Browning proceeds to discover, explain and list the methods which you can enjoy somebody. She states that she likes the based on the spiritual level. She states that she likes the subject easily and purely with the strength of the suffering.

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Additionally, she “shall enjoy [him] better after death.” The dominant figure of speech in the poem is anaphora, the usage of “I love thee” in 8 lines and “I shall however love thee” in the final line. This repeating builds rhythm while enhancing the style. Browning duplicates the expression “I enjoy thee” at the beginning of several lines as an easy method to hold to the unstressed-stressed pattern dictated by iambic meter (line 5). The repeating is extended in the last two lines of the opening octave with the lines, “I like thee easily, as guys aim for Right;/ I like thee simply, as they turn from Praise” (lines 7-8).

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Browning likewise uses alliteration, as the copying highlight: thee, the (lines 1, 2, 5, 9, 12), soul, sight (line 3), and love, level (line 5). Being a Petrarchan sonnet, Sonnet 43 includes fourteen lines which is comprised of an octave and sestet. These stanzas are both in iambic pentameter significance each line is made up of 10 syllables. The rhyme plan of this sonnet is abba, abba, cdcdcd. There are key distinctions and resemblance of theme and structure in between Sonnet 43 by Browning and Sonnet 30 by Shakespeare.

Browning uses the same pentameter on both sonnets. However, the theme was quite different. In Sonnet 43, as analyzed – the mood and tone seems to be much more positive, as the narrator continues to praise various aspects of his/her life. However, in Sonnet 30, the narrator’s tone is much different. The tone is much more depressing, which depicts the fact that the poem’s theme is different. The narrator of Sonnet 30 tended to question him/herself in a rhetorical state, implying that the narrator is very confused and also doubtful.

Both pieces speak of love, but it is quite evident that this subject is portrayed in very different ways. Shakespeare’s words seem to originate from a darker place, one filled with pain and regret. He speaks of love but for things he has lost. This love have sometime make him sad “I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought” but it also sometimes makes him happy “But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restored and sorrows end. ”. Browning also speaks of love, but from a more innocent and jovial point of view.

Although these sentiments stem from different places for the two poets, a closer look reveals that they do actually hold some similar feelings about love. They seem to both assert that each’s love is undying and still quite strong after death. Shakespeare states “But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,All losses are restored and sorrows end. ”, whereas Browning states “and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. ”. In conclusion, although both works speak of the same feeling from different time periods and mindsets, they are more alike than they appear to be.

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Poetry of William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Browning. (2016, Sep 10). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/poetry-of-william-shakespeare-and-elizabeth-browning-essay

Poetry of William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Browning

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