Essay on Elizabeth Barrett Browning 's Sonnet 32

Essay on Elizabeth Barrett Browning 's Sonnet 32

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnet 32” from Sonnets from the Portuguese is a reflection of the speaker’s relationship with her suitor, and how she expresses her doubt at the abruptness of the courtship, along with her worthiness for such affection. Through the progression of the poem the speaker portrays apprehension at the swift manner of their infatuation and skepticism over her significance towards her admirer, revealing the speaker’s remorseful undertone of dubious thoughts towards her relationship.

While at the onset of the poem between lines one through three, the speaker displays noticeable signs of regret for her partnership by the negative connotation of the diction she chooses. When first learning of her lover’s emotions the speaker “looked forward to the moon,” whereas other young women would be delighted at hearing their significant others proclaim their love. (2) Instead when the speaker implies that she is “looking forward to the moon,” it can be assumed that the speaker was anticipating for the day to end. (2) Furthermore, the speaker goes on to reiterate this point when she wishes to “slacken all those bonds.” (3) When focusing on the use of the words “slacken” and “bond” together we can see a negative connotation towards their partnership, whereas separately the words are more neutral. (3) Loosening a bond leads the impression that the speaker wishes to cut ties with her partner. Desiring to undo the development of their relationship could be the result of the speaker having regrets for her lover admitting his fervor for her. Ultimately, there is a disconnect between the social events taking place in the poem, and how the speaker feels about the advancement of their relationship.
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...is particular poem that can be taken away is that sometimes it’s not outside forces that will destroy our relationships, but our over-active imaginations. This is what I believe played a large part in Browning’s regret for doubting her relationship and there for writing this poem. The poem is a progression of doubts towards the relationship at hand, whether it be the timing of their affection or how a person may use their insecurities to lower their self-esteem, and coming to the realization that these doubts can hinder the growth in a relationship. These doubts that the speaker had towards her relationship are what lead her to be regretful because she saw the destructions these issues could have caused. Which is why Browning came to understand that will the right love, from “great souls” will “do and dote”; eventually saying everything will work out in the end. (14)

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