A Journey to Love

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Sonnets from the Portuguese are a series of poems expressing the journey that Elizabeth Browning faces along the way of encountering love. This complete set of 44 sonnets, were written in the 1800s during the Victorian age. Unlike its other literary counterparts of this time, the woman plays a dominant role. This is surprising because the male typically is the dominant role and women are usually the hidden force of silence rather than voicing their opinions. The chronicle focuses on the love and devotion that she keeps with her future husband, Robert Browning. Browning encounters various emotions, including death and at first struggles to understand what exactly has come over her. The speaker is a very passionate woman about her husband. Browning is so passionate about her husband to be, that the name Sonnets from the Portuguese derives from the nickname he gave her, “My little Portugee”. The love she has for him is expressed in every sonnet but in a different form. The progression of the sonnets, introduces the irreversible concept of adversity to reach love, passion for your companion and growth before the beginning of a marriage. Death seems to be her first companion before. The first sonnet discusses the first acquaintance she has with love. Its unexpected presence over whelms her and sends her into the notion that she is encountering death. She begins the first stanza of sonnet I with a thought she gathers from a poem, I thought once how Theocritus had sung/Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,/ Who each one in a gracious hand appears. In this stanza, the Greek poet Theocritus’ is mentioned in reference to the feeling she has about his poem about shepherds wooing nymphs and shepherdess, then holding singing con... ... middle of paper ... ...thee freely, as men they turn from praise Also, she reminisces the love for Christianity as a child and compares that love to suffering. The similarity of Christ dying on the cross and the suffering she feels in a way symbolizes strength. This strength is shown in the repetition of “I love thee”, these words are very powerful and send the message of how the speaker actually is. The speaker concludes that their love will not die as they do but it will ascend with them to heaven, “I love thee with the breath,/ Smile, tears, of all my life!-and, if God choose,/ I shall but love thee better after death.” Works Cited “Theocritus.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc.,2013. Web.03 Nov.2013. tp://www.gutenberg.org/files/2002/2002-h/2002-h.htm
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