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Necessity of Love in Browning´s Sonnets from the Portuguese

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Love is the ubiquitous force that drives all people in life. If people did not want, give, or receive love, they would never experience life because it is the force that completes a person. Although it often seems absent, people constantly strive for this ever-present force as a means of acceptance. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is an influential poet who describes the necessity of love in her book of poems Sonnets from the Portuguese. In her poems, she writes about love based on her relationship with her husband – a relationship shared by a pure, passionate love. Browning centers her life and happiness around her husband and her love for him. This life and pure happiness is dependent on their love, and she expresses this outpouring and reliance of her love through her poetry. She uses imaginative literary devices to strengthen her argument for the necessity of love in one’s life. The necessity of love is a major theme in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnet 43” and “Sonnet 29.”
Browning’s “Sonnet 43” vividly depicts the human dependency of love. She uses irony to emphasize that love overpowers everything. Browning starts the poem with “How do I love thee” (Browning). Ironically, she answers the very question she presents the reader by describing her love and the extent to which she loves (Kelly 244). The ironic question proposes a challenge to the reader. Browning insinuates how love overpowers so that one may overcome the challenge. People must find the path of love in life to become successful and complete. Also, the diction in “Sonnet 43” supports the idea that love is an all-encompassing force. The line, “if God choose, I shall love thee better after death” means that love is so powerful that even after someone passes away lov...

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...Browning’s sonnets depict the power of love as an omnipresent force that allows all people to share a connection through the desire of this emotion.

Works Cited

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Sonnets from the Portuguese. Mount Vernon: Peter Pauper Press: 1998. Print.
Canfield Reisman, Rosemary M. “Sonnet 43.” Masterplots II. Philip K. Jason. Vol. 7. Pasadena: Salem Press, 2002. 3526-3528. Print.
Goodman, Brent. “Sonnet 43.” Poetry for Students. Ed. Napiekowski, Marie Rose. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 240-242. Print.
Kelly, David. “Sonnet 43.” Poetry for Students. Ed. Napiekowski, Marie Rose. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 242-244. Print.
Mermin, Dorothy. “Sonnet XXIX.” Poetry for Students. Ed. David Galens. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 147-155. Print.
Moran, Daniel. “Sonnet XXIX.” Poetry for Students. Ed. David Galens. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 146-147. Print.
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