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Published by arnuwa_007, 2021-03-29 12:51:17



Shakespeare used hyperbole in his sonnet in a different way because at that time most poets wrote.
Shakespeare decided in this sonnet to exaggerate how unattractive his mistress is. Sonnet 130 suggests
that his mistress' hair is made of black wire, her breath reeks, her breasts are grayish-brown and her voice is


Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a part of something
is used to represent the whole or the whole of synecdoche is found
in lines 5 and 6:

“I have see roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks.”

In the previous lines, Shakespeare views his mistress as a whole like
a rose, but not in her cheeks does he see the rose.

Diction in the poem


In modern times, the word "mistress" is usually used to describe a woman in an illicit relationship. More
specifically, if a man is cheating on his wife, the woman he's cheating on her with might be called his "mistress."
Shakespeare, however, uses the word in an earlier, more general sense: here it simply refers to a woman of power
or authority, with whom the speaker has an intimate relationship.


The speaker is comparing his mistress here to a
specific species of red coral native to the Mediterranean.

Dun Reeks

The word "dun" isn't used much anymore (except In modern times, "reeks" refers to something that smells
to describe horses), but during Shakespeare's day it bad. In Elizabethan times, when Shakespeare wrote.
described a dull, grayish tan color. It is often used in "Sonnet 130," the word had a more neutral meaning,
opposition to brilliant or bright colors, and it conveys a and simply refers to something "exhaled" or "given off"
sense of something drab or uninspired. without the resulting smell having to be bad. So
while it is possible to read lines 7-8 as the speaker
Damasked saying that perfume smells better than his mistress's
stinking breath, it is more accurate to read it as
The word "damask" usually refers to an embroidered saying that perfume smells better than the breath
fabric, often used for table linen. Shakespeare may be his mistress exhales.
comparing the delicate interplay between pink and red in
the flesh of a rose to this intricate fabric. Alternatively, he
may be using the word in a metaphorical sense, in which
the word refers to any variegated surface.


Here Shakespeare refers to a durable tradition
in western poetry, which dates from Virgil's Aeneid.
In the first book of the Aeneid, the poet notes,
about a woman, "in her gait she was revealed as a
true goddess." In other words, she walks like a goddess.
Virgil's text was widely imitated in the Renaissance,
particularly in poems about beauty, desire, and love.
Shakespeare reverses that tradition, noting that his
mistress walks like a human being.

Belied Compare

The word "belied" implies a wrong-doing. To belie Here, Shakespeare—famous for inventing new
is to slander, to lie about, or to spread false and malicious words and expanding the meanings of old ones—uses
rumors about someone's character—or, in this case, their the verb "compare" in place of the noun, "comparison."
appearance. His reasons are likely metrical: he wants to preserve
the iambic pentameter of the poem. The word as
Wires used here simply means that the metaphors and
similes (the comparisons) that other poets have
The word "wires" may appear strange: why would used to describe their ladiesare fake, false, and
one compare someone's hair to wire? But Shakespeare malicious.
is playing here on a long-running trope of Renaissance
poetry. For example, Bartholomew Griffin writes in
1596, "My lady's hair is threads of beaten gold";
similarly, Thomas Watson writes in 1582, "Her yellow
locks exceed the beaten gold." These poets compare
their ladies' blond hair to beaten gold. Shakespeare
reduces the elegant, finely worked metals that Watson
and Griffin invoke to wire—something plain, everyday,
and even comic. But he also notes that his mistress'
wires are black—far from the golden standard that
other writers use.


Here is the analysis of prosody of the sonnet 130: My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun by William


Repeating words or phrases strengthens meaning and places special emphasis on them.
For example, the word red occurs twice in the second line, as does wires in the fourth.
Because this is a love poem this is of great significance because red lips were supposed
to be an exclusive attribute of female beauty, whilst wires refers to the Elizabethan fashion
of threading golden wires through blonde hair, to increase appeal and looks.


The rhyme scheme is typical: abab cdcd efef gg and all the end rhymes
are full, for example white/delight and rare/compare.

Internal Rhyme

Internal rhymes create resonance and echoes, binding lines and
meaning and sounds. For example:


Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of at least two words in the line of poetry.
contains simple words, as well as alliteration to suggest both the simplicity and beauty of the theme and also to
reinforce the meaning that the poet desires to convey. Line The verse Alliteration
1 My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; My, mistress'
3 If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; Be, breasts, white, why
4 If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. Be, black, her, head.
5 I have seen roses damask'd, red and white, Roses, red
6 But no such roses see I in her cheeks; Such, see
8 Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. Than, the, that, my, mistress
9 I love to hear her speak, yet well I know Hear, her
11 I grant I never saw a goddess go; Grant, goddess, go
12 My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: My, mistress, when , walks


When the same or similar vowels in words are close together in a line or phrase, as in lines:
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.


"Sonnet 130" is written in iambic pentameter. The meter is prized in English because it captures the rhythms
of ordinary speech: when it's well executed, it sometimes feels as though the meter disappears and one is listening
to confident, elegant, but ordinary speech.

Iambic Pentameter Definition

In a line of poetry, an ‘iamb’ is a foot or beat
consisting of an unstressed syllable followed
by a stressed syllable.


‘Penta’ means five, so pentameter simply
means five meters. A line of poetry written in
iambic pentameter has five feet = five sets
of stressed syllables and unstressed syllables.
Putting these two terms together, iambic
pentameter is a line of writing that consists
of ten syllables in a specific pattern of an
unstressed syllable followed by a stressed
syllable, or a short syllable followed by
a long syllable.


"Sonnet 130" is a Shakespearean sonnet, a form
that was popularized (but not actually invented) by
Shakespeare. A Shakespearean sonnet has fourteen lines.
Its meter is iambic pentameter and it follows a regular
rhyme scheme. For the first twelve lines, the poem rhymes
in four line units, organized in a criss-cross pattern such
that the first and third lines rhyme, as do the second and
fourth lines. The poem then ends with a two-line, rhyming
couplet. In a Shakespearean sonnet, the couplet is also
called the volta or turn.

Criticism and Evaluation of the Poem

William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 commonly known and that “in some perfume is there more delight |
by its first line, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.”
sun” is one of the most celebrated sonnets in the
English literature. The sonnet is one of those many The tone is provocative, vulgar and somewhat
manifestations of Shakespeare’s strong affection for satiric. From this point the poem becomes compelling
the mysterious mistress often referred by many critics o the reader mainly because the poet or the speaker,
as the Dark Lady. as opposed to the conventional idea of romanticizing
his beloved, is detailing the otherwise negative physical
The poem literally conveys the idea that the natural attributes of the beloved.
beauty of a beloved is more meaningful as long as they
are not dependent on false comparisons. Thus, truth is The third quatrain mellows down in terms of
the main virtue for this poem. the audacity of the speaker and this is because
of the line “I love to hear her speak” (line 9). In this
The first quatrain of the sonnet introduces the quatrain one would notice the elements of “music”
mistress’ eyes “which are nothing like the sun” (line 1). and “goddess” that is lacking in the mistress through
It is very straightforward and may be viewed as harsh, these lines “I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
but one can feel an initial powerful energy supported | That music hath a far more pleasing sound”
by the rest of the lines of the quatrain. The readers will (lines 9-10) and “I grant I never saw a goddess go
see that the contrast of the beautiful images in nature is | My mistress when she walks treads the ground”
readily established in the first quatrain.

The line “If snow be white, why then her breast
are dun” (line 3) signifies that her mistress’ breast are
not as white as that of a snow. On the same note, the
speaker contrasts the redness of her lips as nothing as
that of a coral (line 2) and that his mistress has “wires”
for hair – all of these may be viewed as a form of a mockery.

The second quatrain follows the same logic as that
of the first – the speaker continues to describe the absence
of the rose in her cheeks (“But no such roses see I in her
cheeks” – line 6)

(line 11-12).This summarizes the frequency of images that highly suggest the beloved’s physical imperfections
built by the poet in the first three quatrains, thus conditions the readers for the final sharp blow that would occur
in the last two lines or the couplet that follows.

Finally, the couplet – the last two lines of the
sonnet – accounts for the most important, unexpected
and sharp conclusion that is necessary for such poem.

This is often referred to as volta, literally means the
“turn”, as this is where the change of mood, tension,
and atmosphere occurs giving the poem a surprising
and astonishing nature. As what any reader may observe,
the poet spent all three quatrains reflecting the belovedn
physical terms by contrasting her with the beautiful
images of nature. The poet’s love for her seems to run
against the grain due to the poet’s penchant for satirically
detailing her imperfections. However, the couplet ensures
a sort of redemption for that matter. In these two powerful
lines “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare |
As any she belied with false compare” the speaker shows
us that he doesn’t have to make false comparisons just
to express how much he truly loves her mistress by
omparing her eyes to the brightness of the sun, her
cheeks to roses, or her voice to music. Essentially what
he wishes to share with us is that he loves his mistress
despite her imperfections which makes her unique and
are individual worthy of his own delight. The couplet is
retained in the readers’ minds more than ever; the thought
encapsulated in it ensures recall and ties the poem into
a know.

The poem is not just a mere parody to the mistress’ physical attributes but deeper analysis would suggest
that it is Shakespeare parody for the conventional standards of a Petrarchan sonnet. A Petrarchan sonnet usually
romanticizes the beloved but here in sonnet 130, Shakespeare has a different way of proclaiming his love to his
mistress. In Jem Bloomfield’s analysis of the poem, she says that Shakespeare “…is obviously rejecting the
overblown conventions of romantic poetry” spearheaded by the conventions of Petrarchan tradition.

Christina Nechifor (2007) emphasizes that this sonnet is “an unconventional portrait of the beloved woman,
build by rejection of the traditional clichés of the Renaissance sonnet and that of the love poetry…” This is the
theme of the sonnet. In metrical poetry where form is an aesthetic attribute one can find that in this sonnet the
rhymes and rhythm are in harmony with its meter. The poem is very easy to read aloud because of the caesuras,
enabling the reader to pause naturally for there is no continuation from one line of verse into the next line. One
can’t find any hint of awkwardness in its readability. Poetry is indeed worthy of discovery in terms of plumbing its
meaning – the pleasure in poetry is only achieved when we come to understand the meaning of a poem and feel
the “poetic effect” of it.



“How do I love thee?”

Is a sonnet by the 19th-century poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It is her most famous and best-loved poem,
having first appeared as sonnet 43 in her collection Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850). Although the poem is
traditionally interpreted as a love sonnet from Elizabeth Barrett Browning to her husband, the poet Robert Browning,
the speaker and addressee are never identified by name. In this guide, we use female pronouns for the speaker
and male pronouns for the beloved, but the poem itself does not specify these genders and is open to other

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Paraphrase the poem

How much do I love you? I'll count all the ways I do. I love you
to the edges of my soul, when it reaches out for the unseen goals of
eternity and oneness with God. I love you as you need to be loved
every day, whether during the day or the evening. I love you
by my free choice, like those who choose to do the right thing. I love you
without self-regard, like those who don’t brag about their own
accomplishments. I love you with the passion I used to feel for my old
sufferings, and for the religion of my childhood. I love you with a love
I thought I had lost when I lost faith in my saints. I love you with
my every breath, smile, and tear, and I will for the rest of my life.
And if God brings us to heaven, I’ll love you even more in the afterlife.

Line by Line Analysis she loves her husband. The tone shifts from a spiritual
one to a mundane, grounded one. In these four lines,
Lines 1-4: the speaker now describes her love as a quiet force
In the first line, the speaker poses the main question that sustains her from day to day. In lines six and
seven, she once again mentions the extent of her
of the poem: “How do I love thee?” Her mood is pensive love. This time, she describes this affection as filling
yet happy, as she quickly proceeds to answer her own the quiet moments of her daily life. The passage
question: “Let me count the ways.” From there, she sets of time is marked by the references to light, suggesting
the romantic tone of the poem by listing all the ways in that her love endures from one day to the next.
which she loves her lover. The subject “thee” is assumed
to be the speaker’s husband. In lines seven and eight, the speaker compares
her love to the experiences of mankind (“men”) as
In lines two through four, the speaker describes a whole. She repeats “I love thee” twice, giving the
the first way in which she loves her husband. She uses poem an increasingly confident tone as the speaker
physical space as a metaphor to depict her love. Tangible convincingly assures the listener that her love is
measurements show the greatness of her love—the extent sincere. She explains that she loves her husband
to which her soul can also reach. Her love is so massive freely, just as men strive to do what is right for
that, like her soul, it extends to a point where she cannot humanity without thinking twice about it. She gives
even see it anymore. At some point, her soul seems to her love freely, without restraint or hesitation.
extend outside her view—the speaker seems to be reaching Furthermore, she loves her husband purely. Her
out to touch it but is unable to do so. She images a point affection is untainted and humble. Just as men humbly
at which her soul, and her love, are out of sight because shy away from praise when they commit good acts,
the end of “being” and “grace” have come—presumably, she does not expect to be commended for her love.
the poet no longer exists (“being”) and is no longer guided
by God in life (“ideal grace”). In other words, she has passed
away. However, her love for her husband is so great that
it extends past her line of vision—into the afterlife. Even
when she is gone, her love will continue.

Lines 5-8:
The speaker repeats the key phrase, “I love thee.”

She continues to elaborate on the different ways in which

Lines 9-10: The speaker then proceeds to describe how she
The speaker elaborates further on her love loves her husband with all her physical being. Through
all the smiles and tears of her life, she will keep loving him.
by making a reference to her past. Once again, she With every breath, she feels this love that sustains her.
repeats “I love thee” to signify yet another new At the sonnet’s conclusion, she looks to the future—notably,
perspective on her love. Her tone becomes slightly the afterlife. Despite expressing disappointment in the
somber at this point. She explains how in the past, “saints” of her past, the speaker appears to have maintained
she suffered “griefs,” or sadness. She put tremendous her belief in God. She expresses a desire to keep loving
energy, or “passion,” into resisting this pain. She her husband from beyond the grave, if God will allow her
compares the energy she put into overcoming her to do so. Even after she is gone, she feels she can continue
sadness to the energy she exerts when loving her to love her husband even more powerfully.
husband. Her love for him is intense, just as one might
work intensely to overcome pain and distress.
She also compares the intensity of this love to the
faith she showed as a child. The speaker reveres
her husband just as one might revere someone
passionately and innocently in his or her youth.

Lines 11-14:
The speaker begins the last four lines of the

sonnet by repeating the key phrase, “I love thee,”
for the last time. The tone remains somber, as she
now mentions loss. She explains ambiguously that
she has lost love for the “lost saints” in her life,
suggesting a loss of religious faith or confidence in
people she once held in high esteem. She equates
the power of her love for her husband with what
she once felt for these saintly figures.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her love sonnet “How Do I Love Thee?” beautifully expresses her love for her
husband and tries to list the different ways in which she loves him. Her love seems to be eternal, unconquerable
and the highest power in the world. Elizabeth loves her husband to be daily instead of loving him for a few
passionate moments. She also insists that if God permits her, she will continue loving the love of her life even after
her death.

“How do I love thee?” is a sensitive poem because of the reason that the author defines herself in the ways
she loves her husband. Love is portrayed to be intangible; it can even be felt even after one settle in the cold grave.

Love according to Elizabeth is not an earthly concept because she loves freely and purely without thinking
about the why’s and how’s of love and its future possibilities.


The poetess engages with themes of love, identity, and spirituality. To begin with, the first outstanding theme
is love. The speaker’s love is multifarious thing. In fact, the entire poem is concerned with finding, describing, and
listing different ways of loving someone. The poem is compared to her various experiences from life. Her love is initially
described as an otherworldly force that comes from deep within her soul. The speaker then contrasts this image
with the description of a calmer, more mundane love that sustains her on a daily basis. Her love is then compared
to the humble efforts of mankind in wishing to do good for the world without a need to be praised. Love then takes
on a passionate tone once more, as the speaker proceeds to compare her feelings to the intensity that arises from
spirituality and the childlike innocence of believing in goodness. The sonnet as a whole describes how the love
the speaker feels for her husband consumes her body and soul, and it relays the hope that she can continue to love him
even more once she is gone. The next powerful theme is identity. The speaker’s identity seems to be defined
by her love for her husband. Her love manifests itself physically, spiritually, and morally—essentially, in every aspect
of her being. The speaker’s love is so intense that it is described as contained within her breath, smiles, and tears.
Her love appears to physically sustain her in life. Her love is also exalted to the point of spirituality, as she cares for her
husband the way she once cared for “saints”—people or religious figures she once fervently admired. She further
elaborates that she hopes God will allow her to love her husband in the afterlife, giving her affection a religious power.
Her moral sense of self is also highlighted, as she describes her feelings as natural, pure, and just—as one might
describe people striving to help one another through humble, selfless acts. Her love is a pure and righteous act, just
as one person might selflessly help another. The last significant theme that undoubtedly visible in the poem is spirituality.

The speaker makes references to her spirituality and belief in God. She equates her feelings for her husband
to the intensity with which she once revered the “lost saints” of her life. These saints may refer to people—or even
religious figures—whom she once believed in deeply. The mention of God at the sonnet’s conclusion illustrates that
the speaker is still a religious person. She believes that God has the power to decide whether or not she will be able
to love her husband from beyond the grave.


The tone is romantic and confident at the outset. The speaker is certain of her love and wishes to
analyze all of its nuances. However, the tone turns somber and humble when she mentions the grievances
of her past. The speaker has suffered disappointments that may or may not have to do with her religious faith.
Despite these setbacks, however, her faith has been restored by her love for her husband. The entire poem
is a contemplation of her life’s experiences and the ways in which they have shaped her understanding
of her love.


The setting in place is the Speaker's Own Heart. In this
poem, The readers can imagine that the speaker actually inside
her own heart, rummaging around to find all the different kinds
of love she has in there and counting them. Think of "How do I
love thee? Let me count the ways" as a slightly more abstract
version of something like "How many black shirts do I have?
Let me count them all" – and then ransacking your closet, drawers,
and laundry basket to get hold of each of them, noticing their
differences and their similarities.We get a sense of absent-mindedness
here, too. How do I love thee? Wait, how many pairs of flip-flops
do I have? Or, if you don't like the laundry analogy, think of
the speaker's heart as her mp3 player, and she's spinning the
little click wheel, reading off the titles of the songs she's got
on there: "What kinds of music have I got on here? Let me count
the songs. Oh, look, here's 'My Childhood's Faith' – I love that
one." That sort of thing.


Throughout the poem, the poet includes a significant amount of imagery in this sonnet. “I love thee
to the depth and breadth and height.” This creates imagery that love is endless in all directions. Imagery
techniques weave emotive perceptions into a poem though language, making the words palpable.
Another vivid example is “Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light” and “In my old griefs, and with my
childhood’s faith.” They provide imagery of sights.

Figurative languages

The sonnet 43 provides various figurative languages including symbols, Allusions, metonymy, synecdoche,
personification, and hyperbole.


“How do I love thee?” is a poem noticeably lacking in symbols, perhaps because it often relies instead
on expressions of feeling or evocations of God and spirituality.
Lines 5-6 thus stand out for their humble tone, focusing on everyday objects rather than abstract concepts
like love and the soul. Specifically, the speaker refers to her love for her beloved “by sun and candle-light”:

I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

On a literal level, the “sun” refers to daylight, while symbols for life and death. This reading is supported
“candle-light” refers to the use of candles to provide light by the speaker’s claim later in the poem that she
in the evening in an era when there was no access to will love her beloved “better after death,” suggesting
electricity and artificial light. “Sun and candle-light” are that her love will persist into the afterlife.
thus symbols of the speaker’s love for her partner at all times,
during both the hours of sunlight and the hours of darkness. The seemingly banal and everyday image
of love by “sun and candle-light” might then also
This pair of symbols emphasizes the poem’s idea become a symbol for eternal true love that overcomes
of true love as constant and unconditional, since it shows death itself.
that the speaker's love is always present. More profoundly,
however, “sun and candle-light” might also be read as


The speaker alludes to religion and spirituality throughout
the poem. She believes her love can extend to the depths of her
soul, even when she is no longer supported by the grace of God.

Her love for her husband is as intense as what she once
felt for the lost “saints” of her life. Lastly, she mentions God by
name; she proclaims that she will love her husband even more
when she is gone if God chooses to let her do so.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

“Depth and breadth and height” – The measurements
described represent the vastness of the speaker’s love.
Love is given a physical presence, and the speaker attempts
to measure it as a means of showing how great it is.


“My soul can reach”— In a way, the soul is personified
as a human being who reaches out, just as the speaker attempts
to “show” through measurements the very vastness of her love.

Hyperbole physical experience, as if this affection is
contained within every breath and movement
The speaker provides several hyperboles in the poem. she makes, and “I shall but love thee better
For example, “Depth and breadth and height” – The speaker’s after death” – The speaker believes she is
love is portrayed as larger than life or as an actual physical mass capable of loving her husband even more
capable of being measured. ,“I love thee with a love I seemed strongly after she is gone.
to lose/With my lost saints” – The speaker exalts her lover
by comparing him to saints or people capable of being as pure
and perfect as saints, “I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears,
of all my life” – The speaker describes her love as a deeply

Diction in the poem

The diction in sonnet 43 is intense, emotional yet positive. Elizabeth uses religious related words such as
“Lost saint,” “ideal grace,” “praise,” etc. The poem also uses Old- English of “Thee" is an old-fashioned word meaning
"you." In the nineteenth century, calling someone "thee" often indicated familiarity or intimacy, so it is fitting that
the speaker refers to her beloved using this term.

Prosody Enjambment

Here is the analysis of prosody of the sonnet 43 It is defined as a thought or clause that
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. does not come to an end at a line break rather
continues in the next line. For example,“I love
Alliteration thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs,
and with my childhood’s faith.”
“I love thee” – The phrase is technically repeated
throughout the poem. However, lines seven through nine Anaphora
all begin with this phrase, emphasizing the sincerity of
the speaker.“I love thee with a love I seemed to lose” – It refers to the repetition of a word or
The repetition of the “l” consonant rolls off the tongue and expression in the first part of some verses.
creates a soft and somber tone. “I love thee freely, as men For example, the word “love” is repeated to
strive for right” (assonance and alliteration) – The words emphasize her feelings of true love.
“thee” and “freely” both contain a long “e” sound that gives “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
the speaker a confident, liberated tone. The long “I” sound I love thee to the depth and breadth and height.
contained in “strive” and “right” creates a heavy sound,
suggesting the plight of people who work hard to make Repetition
things right for humanity.
The repetition of the short “e” sound in
Assonance “depth” and “breadth” produces a rhyme and
gives the speaker a matter-of-fact tone. She
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in confidently measures the immensity of her love.
the same line such as the sound of /ee/ and /i/ in “I love The use of “I love thee” in eight lines and
thee freely, as men strive for right;” and the sound of /e/ in “I shall but love thee” in the final line.
“I love thee to the depth and breadth and height.”
This repetition builds rhythm while
reinforcing the theme.

Meter the meter might also fit with the speaker’s understanding
of love as eternal and all-powerful, and thus capable of
The poem is written in iambic pentameter, occasionally breaking through the metrical structure that
the traditional meter of both the English and guides the poem.
Petrarchan sonnet forms. Each line of the poem
consists of 10 syllables, broken up into five two-beat
metrical feet. In turn, each metrical foot in iambic
pentameter consists of one unstressed syllable
followed by one stressed syllable, as in lines 2-3:
I love | thee to | the depth | and breadth | and height
My soul | can reach, | when feel- | ing out | of sight.

Here the stress falls evenly, over every other
syllable. This is typical, as “How do I love thee?”
generally follows a very regular meter. However,
there are some moments in which even this highly
metrically regulated poem breaks the iambic meter.
One example occurs in the very first line of the poem:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Although it would be possible to read this line as
“How do I love thee?” this iambic stress of syllables
sounds a bit odd, as if the speaker is questioning
whether or not she really does love the speaker.
Instead, it seems more likely that the first metrical
foot should be read as a trochee, a stressed syllable
followed by an unstressed syllable:“How do I love thee?”
The emphasis on “how” the speaker loves seems
a more natural fit with a poem that is concerned
with the “how” of loving and endeavors to “count the ways”
in which the speaker loves. This departure from

Rhyme Scheme

Because “How do I love thee?” is a Petrarchan rather than an English sonnet, it follows a different rhyme
scheme than, say, a sonnet by Shakespeare. An English sonnet typically follows the rhyme scheme of
ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, in which four rhyming quatrains are followed by a rhymed couplet. However, the Petrarchan
sonnet consists of a rhyming octave followed by a rhyming sestet, for the rhyme scheme of:ABBA ABBA CDC DCD
At the beginning of the sonnet, the rhymes are fairly regular and predictable. "Height" (line 2) and "sight" (line 3),
as well as "day's" (line 5) and "praise" (line 8) are elegantly matching rhyme sounds that offer a sense of sonic
regularity and symmetry in the poem's first eight lines. In the following sestet, however, the rhymes are not always
as predictable. "Use" (line 9) and "lose" (line 11), for example, is more of a slant rhyme, with sounds that don't
entirely match with one another. This impression of possible misalignment is appropriate, because the speaker is
describing the sense of temporal distance and discontinuity, she feels between the love she "seemed to lose /
With my lost saints" and the passion she has "put to use" now for her beloved. Otherwise, however, the poem's
very regular rhyme scheme mirrors the poem's preoccupation with themes of unity and wholeness, providing a
sonic match for the sonnet's ideal of true love as perfect understanding and harmony.

Form new themes and subjects, while maintaining a greater
sense of flow and continuity between the lines than
“How Do I Love Thee” is a sonnet. A sonnet is an English sonnet might allow her. The choice of the
Italian sonnet form is also significant given that Barrett
a form of regular verse, so it will have a regular rhythm Browning titled her poetry collection Sonnets from
the Portuguese. This title gave the impression that
pattern and rhyme scheme. The rhythm pattern, as it is perhaps the poet had translated the work from a lost
original, allowing her a way of avoiding the scandal
for most sonnets, is iambic pentameter, five beats of an or stigma of authorship that could sometimes attach
to women poets. By using a “continental” rather than
unstressed then stressed sound in each line: English sonnet form, the poet may have been trying
to give the impression that the poem is of an exotic
~ / ~ /~ / ~ / ~/ or foreign origin.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

~/~/ ~ / ~ / ~/

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

However, “How do I love thee?” isn’t a traditional

English sonnet, which typically has three sections of four

lines called quatrains, followed by a final, two-line couplet.

Instead, “How do I love thee?” is an Italian or Petrarchan

sonnet. (This form of sonnet is called “Petrarchan” after

the great medieval Italian lyric poet Petrarch, but he didn’t

invent the form.) In contrast to the English sonnet, the Italian

sonnet is divided into two sections: a section of eight lines,

called an octave; and a section of six lines, called a sestet.

The English sonnet typically has a “turn,” or change

of subject, in the final two lines, whereas the Italian sonnet

will not necessarily have a turn. In this poem, the second

section—the sestet—does introduce a new subject: the

speaker’s sense of the division between the love she feels

now and the juvenile loves of her “childhood’s faith” and

“old saints.” She then ends the poem looking forward to

yet another transformation over time, from the love of her

life to the hope of love in the afterlife. In this sense, the

form of the Italian sonnet allows the speaker to introduce

Criticism and Evaluation of the Poem

The sonnet 43 “How Do I Love Thee?” is one of the exquisite love poems. The whole meaning of the poem
is through the author’s amplification of love and how much she loves her husband, who is also a poet. In the sonnet,
she wants the reader to feel how she feels and tries to indicate the reader that true love is the most exquisite thing
in the world and should be cherished by those who feel it. “Sonnet 43” exemplifies the poet’s use of religious
allusions throughout Sonnets from the Portuguese. Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnet “How do I love thee?”
is both rhetorically and passionately effective. Her passion and love are clearly evident in the literary text that she
has addressed explicitly to her husband. It becomes evident that sonnet is both poetically and vividly effective;
expressing her passion and love through the execution of figurative language, tropological usage and poetic rhythm.
Barrett Browning successfully employs the use of poetical devices and techniques that account for the overall
effect and impact of her work.



I Do Not Love You Except Because
I Love You by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you

Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel

Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,

Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.

Paraphrase the poem and not love her, not see her, but that moment
only he realizes that it is impossible. He loves
The first stanza of the poem starts with the description of her blindly. Whatever he does so that he does
the love the narrator has for his beloved. He loves her from the not love her and hate her, forgets her, but the
very core of his heart, but he is not being loved by her in return. truth is that his love is pure and cannot be
He keeps on saying to himself that he does not love her, but he changed.
just cannot help his feelings and emotions. As he thinks this,
his heartaches and he knows that he loves her all the more. In the next stanza, the poet is thinking
He loves her every minute and every moment and again feels about the approaching winter season. The
that why does not she loves him back. He wants to forget her, winters are going to be harsh upon him when
to hate her, and the more he thinks about hating her, he knows everything will freeze, and the rays of sun,
that he is more and more falling in love with her. It is not possible which represents the hope, will not bring hope
for him to forget her or hate her or stop loving her. He is an for him. It seems that in the month of January,
optimistic person and hopes that she will someday positively she seems to be going away from him. It is
comes to him, and thus, he keeps on waiting for her. He waits going to toughest for him. He knows that this
for her to come to her, to love her, but now this wait seems endless. will make his heart tear apart. Everything will
He says to himself that he should not be waiting for her. She does be cruel on him. He fears that this will take
not deserve his wait, his love. He longs for her, and know that this away his inner peace, his calmness forever.
agony of one-sided love is making his heart freeze for her. And
even after this gesture, when she does not melt, the pain in his
heart rises and this coldness turns into a deep fire, a passion
for her. His heart is burning in love for her.

In the second stanza, the narrator is analyzing the reason
for why does he love her so deeply. But he is just unable to find
out the reason. He just knows that he is in love with her; this love
is true and emerges from the core of his heart. There is no reason
for this love, it is selfless. He knows that this love causes pain in
his heart and wants to change this feeling but as he thinks of
doing so, he is just helpless. He bends in front of her and longs
for her love. As he thinks about bringing a chance in his nature

In the last stanza, the narrator is deeply
sad since all his hopes seem shattered. He
knows that she will never come back, no matter
how much he loves or does not loves her.
Also, he knows that it is not possible to live
without her. Hence, he feels that he will be
dying of the fact that his love will come be
completed. He is thrilled that the reason for
his end will be his love. He will be devastated
due o the reason that he loves her and this
love only is going to kill him. But no doubt,
he will be nearing death but still his love will
not vanish or fade. He will be in blood or in fire,
but the passion of his love will always glow.
He will love her in all circumstances, whether
she does not love him, hate him, tear his heart
or becomes the reason for his death.


“I do not love you except because I love you”
This poem “I do not love you except because I love you” is written by Pablo Neruda. The theme of this poem

is the pain and confusion of falling in love. The poem briefly explains how much hard it is to fall in love and how this
love hurts the lover. This poem combines two general types of poetry. This is a narrative and lyrical poem. The poem
is narrative because it tells a short story and it is lyrical as it discusses the passion and feelings of the writer. It is
shown in the poem how quickly time passes. The poem tells about a specific time frame as shown in line 9 “Maybe
the January light will consume my heart” (DC Aries). Other than this writer keeps on telling in the whole poem how
it feels to him about his love. Such like shown in line 13 “I will die of love because I love you” (DC Aries). In the
whole poem, he has used powerful words which capture incisively the natural features like how to perceive or feel
for love.

Reading the whole poem does not tell if the poet is talking about himself or someone else. He has written
this poem in the first-person narrative so that the one who reads this poem feels as if he is talking about the poet's
feelings. The poem is addressed to his lover. The author is very passionate about his feelings and loves thoughts
but he is feeling like to be manipulated by the one he loves.

Line by Line Analysis

Line 1 Line 5
I do not love you except because I love you; I love you only because it's you the one I love;
-There is no reason behind loving someone, -The person the speaker is talking about does not return his love,
it just happens. so the speaker has no reason behind loving her other than the
fact that he does love her.
Line 2
I go from loving to not loving you, Line 6-7
-There are times where you love the person I hate you deeply, and hating you
and then you really don’t love them. Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
-The speaker is trying to tell himself that he hates her but in
Line 3 reality, his “hate” for her only make him love her more. He knows
From waiting to not waiting for you that loving her is Only causing him pain so he tries to change this
-The speaker is waiting for the person to love feeling towards her
them back. The speaker goes from the feeling
of wanting to wait until they love them back Line 8
or give up. Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.
-Changing his feeling towards her means that he must not see
Line 4 her anymore. Although he cannot see her, he still loves her.
My heart moves from cold to fire.
-There are times where the speaker does not
feel anything at all for that person to feeling
very passionate about them.

Line 9-11
Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.
-The speaker is thinking that with the winter coming that
his feelings will be frozen and dwell on him must like
everything surrounding him. The rays(of the sun) represent
hope with will not come for him during the harsh winter.
-January could be symbolic of the month that she went
away or did something to make him feel like there was
no hope left for them.

Line 12-14
In this part of the story, I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.
-He is the one who is suffering a great deal and feels as
though he would rather die than be without the one that
he deeply loves. At this point, he realizes that there is no
hope left for them to be together no matter how much he
loves her. He feels as though his love is already been fulfilled
and that he will be able to love no one else.


Love, pain and confusion of falling in love
The theme of this poem is the pain and confusion of falling
in love. The poem briefly explains how much hard it is to fall in love
and how this love hurts the lover.


The poet expresses the true love the narrator has for his
beloved but sadly his beloved does not love him back. It is hurt
by the fact that he is not being loved in return, that he questions
himself that why he loves her. One part of his consciousness
asks him not to love her but he cannot live without loving her.
He wants to hate her but he cannot help loving her all the more.

Imagery Snow



“My heart moves from cold to fire”
Used to compare how his feeling vary from hate to love
“I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.”
In the last stanza,this sentence shows how hard it is to
love someone and how love sometimes can hurt.

Figurative Languages


“Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood”
This symbolism his deep and passionate feeling for his beloved.

“Maybe January light will consume”
The beginning of a new year

“Ray, stealing my key to true calm”
The ray symbolizes rays from the sun. The sun represents the
hope the speaker has that he and his beloved will be together


I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply and hating you
Love and hate can coexist although the feelings are thought to
be complete opposites

Diction in the poem

January light It is seen as a new year, the writer used this word
to show his hope that hopefully he will be able to forget about
her in a new year(beginning), and be able to recover his clam mind.
“I love you ….”

The writer repeats it to show how she is constantly on his
mind and in his though.


Here is the analysis of prosody of the poem “I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You” by Pablo Neruda.


I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you

Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel

Ray, stealing my key to true calm.
In this part of the story I am the one who

The repetition of the word love emphasizes how deeply and truly he feels about her.


I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you

Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel

Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story, I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,

Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.

Structure This line and its rhyme-mate, line 12, happen
to have a fully stressed syllable for each ictus;
It has four quatrains, followed by a final rhyming couplet. all the other regular lines have one unstressed
It follows the typical rhyme scheme of the form, syllable taking the ictus (for example the final
ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, and is composed in iambic pentameter, syllables of line four's "unhappily" and line
a type of poetic meter based on five pairs of metrically weak/strong eight's four-syllable "disabled"). These highly-
syllabic positions.The tenth line exemplifies a regular iambic pentameter: patterned lines are bookended by four lines
× /×/× / × /× / — two at the beginning and two at the end —
And folly doctor-like controlling skill, (66.10) with an initial reversal, as in line one:
/ = ictus, a metrically strong syllabic position. × = nonictus. / ×× / ×/×/ ×/
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry, (66.1)


Sonnet LXVI
It is a one-stanza, 14-line poem, written in iambic pentameter. The sonnet, which derived from the Italian
word sonetto, meaning “a little sound or song," is "a popular classical form that has compelled poets for centuries,
" says
First quatrain: This establish the subject of the sonnet.Number of lines: four; rhyme scheme: ABAB
Second quatrain: This should develop the sonnet’s theme.Number of lines: four; rhyme scheme: CDCD
Third quatrain: This should round off the sonnet’s theme.Number of lines: four; rhyme scheme: EFEF
Fourth quatrain: This should act as a conclusion to the sonnet.Number of lines: two; rhyme scheme: GG

Type Criticism and
This poem combines two general poetry types: it is a
narrative poem because it tells a story and it is a lyric poem Pablo was a loving man. He wrote many
because it includes the writer’s feelings and passion. things about love and despair and heartache.
He felt a passion for this girl, burning and
melting his heart like acid. He was confused
by this feeling, this feeling he had never felt
before; and he hated it. He didn't like what
was becoming of him, yet this girl was so perfect.
He was so in love, that it caused him pain.



Love's Philosophy
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In another's being mingle
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother:
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What is all this sweet work worth,
If thou kiss not me?

Paraphrase the poem

Water from fountains run into rivers, which in turn join together in the oceans. Likewise, the winds of heaven
are always and forever mixing with each other and with deep and beautiful feelings. Nothing in the world is a single
entity—everything is connected according to a divine law which dictates that all things connect through their spirit.
And if that is the case, why shouldn’t I mingle and connect with you?

Look at the way that mountains kiss the heavens, and how the waves embrace one another. A female flower
that ignored the love of its male equivalent would never be forgiven. Sunlight embraces the earth, and moonlight
kisses the sea. But what does it all mean—what is all this connection worth—if you will not kiss me?


The poem presents the idea of how everything in nature and life has a companion except the poet. The poet
draws the graphic picture of togetherness of all things in nature. The popularity of the poem rests in its presentation
of love’s philosophy in terms of human intimacy parallel to the binding cosmic force.

Love’s Philosophy” as a Representative of Love: The poet presents his tender feelings about love. He speaks
about his utmost desire to stay with his beloved. He longs for his love and feels frustrated that his love is not by his
side when he sees beautiful things around him in pairs. He says that intimacy is the law of nature and supports
this argument by describing various parts of nature. He further implies that people are meant to mingle with one
another. His description of the physical interaction of natural objects foreshadows his belief that physical attraction
between human beings is natural. By addressing his beloved, he says that there is no reason for them to stay

Line by line analysis

Analysis of Love’s Philosophy The tone of the question, however,
Stanza One implies that this love is either unrequited,
The fountains mingle with the river or he is far away from the one he loves,
And the rivers with the ocean, or he is posing the question to his
The winds of heaven mix for ever would-be lover for the very first time.
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine? —

The speaker begins his explanation of the philosophy of love
by describing different parts of nature. He talks about “the fountains”
and the way they “mingle with the river”. He then mentions the rivers,
and how they meet with the ocean. These all symbolize people and
imply that people are meant to mingle with one another. The speaker
then says that “the winds of heaven mix forever with a sweet emotion”.
With this description, the speaker suggests that the physical and the
emotional are connected in some way. He calls it “a divine law” that
“all things” would be “in one spirit” and eventually would “meet and mingle”.
This symbolizes humanity and the speaker’s belief that human beings
were meant to mingle with one another both physically and emotionally.
The use of the phrase “in one spirit” implies the idea that human beings
are meant to connect with one another spiritually as well.

With the last line of this stanza of Love’s Philosophy, the speaker
asks his hearer, “Why not I with thine?” This question reveals that the
speaker’s desire for love is not yet satisfied. The question implies his
belief that it would only be natural for he and his lover to unite, body,
soul, and mind. He believes that it would be every bit as natural as the
river mingling with the sea, for he and the one he loves to be one.

Stanza Two the depth of the speaker’s feelings. He feels as though
See the mountains kiss high heaven to clasp the one he loves in his arms would be as
And the waves clasp one another; natural as it is for the rays of the sun to grasp the
No sister-flower would be forgiven earth. He describes the way “the moonbeams kiss
If it disdained its brother; the sea,” further expressing his physical desire for
And the sunlight clasps the earth the one to whom he speaks. The continuous
And the moonbeams kiss the sea: personification of nature and the words used to
What is all this sweet work worth describe the relationships therein give insight into
If thou kiss not me? the intensity of the speaker’s feelings. Words such
as “mingle,” “clasp,” and “kiss” all reveal the physical
The speaker begins, again, to describe the ways nature of the speaker’s desire. However, phrases
in which different parts of nature interact and depend upon such as “sweet emotion” and “in one spirit,” imply
one another. He says that “the mountains kiss high heaven” that his desires are deeper than the physical. He
and that “the waves clasp one another”. It is clear that he longs to be united with the one he loves spiritually
longs to have a physical relationship with the person he loves. and emotionally as well as physically.
His descriptions of the physical interactions between parts
of nature imply his belief that physical interaction between The speaker ends Love’s Philosophy with a
two people is natural. He communicates to his lover that it question similar to the one he asked at the end of
feels unnatural to be kept away from her. The speaker then the first stanza. He asks, “What is all this sweet work
uses flowers to further describe his feelings about his worth if thou kiss not me?” This is a heavy question.
unsatisfied feelings. He describes a “sister flower” and claims He reveals his feelings that nothing he has observed
that it would not “be forgiven” if it were to deny “its brother”. in life or nature holds any value to him if he is not to
This description causes the readers to lean toward the idea be united with the person he loves. This final line
of this poem is about unrequited love. The word “disdained” intensifies the tone of the rest of the poem because
seems to imply that the one to whom he speaks remains it implies not only the speaker’s intense desire for
separate from him by her own choice. To the speaker, this the one, he loves but also his lack of interest in living
seems unnatural because he longs for her love so strongly. life apart from her. This allows the reader to
understand the depths of his love.
He continues to describe the physical relationships
between parts of nature when he claims that “the sunlight
clasps the earth”.This imagery allows the reader to understand

It is interesting, however, that the speaker has already Thus, the reader can gather that although he feels
implied that the one he loves feels disdain for him. Thus, strongly for her, he does not understand her feelings
it is ironic that he can claim that love between the two of nor take them into consideration when he claims
them would be as natural as the meeting of the river and that it is unnatural for them to be apart, but natural
the ocean when it is clear that the one, he loves does not for them to be together. This gives the readers the
share his feelings. To her, it might feel very unnatural to be idea that although his love is intense, it is quite
united with him whether physically, spiritually, or emotionally. possibly immature. He may feel a deep longing for
The speaker does not seem to offer much insight into the this woman, but he has not been able to identify
feelings or thoughts of the one he loves other than a subtle with her feelings and honor her feelings. If he had,
implication that she feels disdain for him. he may have been able to let go of her. As it is, the
poem reveals an inability to let go of her, and
Theme persistence in obtaining her despite her feelings
toward him. All of these factors can lead the reader
to believe that Love’s Philosophy is written about
the classic feeling of unrequited love.

The major theme of the poem is the phenomenon of
unrequited love. The whole text discusses the intimate nature
of love. The poet explains this idea, using figurative language
and natural imagery. He argues that everything that exists
in the universe has a companion and that there is no
meaningful separation in the natural world. The idea of
love and relationships will surely enchant readers.


The poem's tone is romantic, playful and imploring. The speaker tries to impress his beloved with lofty

language and analogies.


Shelly has used visual imagery in this poem such as, “fountains mingle with the river” and “sunlight clasps

the earth” and sense of touch in “the waves clasp one another;” and “See the mountains kiss high heaven.”

Natural imagery The Sun and the river

This poem is full of natural imagery, including mountains, the ocean, rivers, the sun, and moonbeams.

Shelley's descriptions are rich and beautiful, which is intentional as his speaker is trying to attract a romantic partner
through this poem.

One example is how the "sunlight clasps the earth," which personifies the sun and the earth as having a
companionship. He then inverts this image and says how the "moonbeams kiss the sea." This is a romantic image
that describes the moon shining on the sea at night. Shelley also describes the mountains as kissing heaven, which
emphasizes their height, and also references how the waves "clasp one another."
-Religious imagery

There are various uses of religious imagery in this poem. First, Shelley writes that "The winds of Heaven mix
forever/ with a sweet emotion," which suggests that Heaven is part of the natural world. The "winds of heaven" are
described in a positive way here, which suggests that Shelley is embracing religion in this poem.

In an allusion to the biblical story of Noah's Ark, Shelley says that everything in nature is paired: "All things
by a law divine/ In one spirit meet and mingle." Here he suggests that there is a divine law that has complete control
over the natural world. This idea of the connection between nature and religion is a key discussion in Romantic

-Imagery of love
Love's Philosophy is a love poem, written with the intention of securing a woman's affections. Shelley suggests

that everything in nature has a companion, apart from himself. He therefore says to his subject that they should be
companions, as it is only natural.

As such, this poem is full of the imagery of romance and love. This includes how the mountains "kiss" the
heavens and how the waves "clasp one another." He therefore personifies aspects of the natural world, to suggest
that romance is natural.

Figurative language Spiritual connection
Shelley writes that "All things by a law divine/

Personification In one spirit meet and mingle." The fact that
all things in nature have a companion
Shelly has used personification such as, the fountains symbolizes the fact that all humans are destined
mingle with the river, The Mountains kiss high heaven Moonbeams to have a companion.The fact that their "spirit"
kiss the sea and the waves clasp one another. Here fountains, will "meet and mingle" symbolizes the fact that
mountains, waves, and moonbeams are given human abilities companionship includes a spiritual connection.
like kissing, clasping and mingling with one another like humans. Flowers

Metaphor In the second stanza, the speaker uses
flowers to describe how his love has been
The poet has used extended metaphors in the poem to unrequited. He says that in nature "no sister-
establish the idea that love is spiritual. For example, “fountains flower would be forgiven/ If it disdained its brother.
mingle with the river”; “And the moonbeams kiss the sea.” Here " He uses this image to symbolize the fact that
the bond of natural objects represents his idea of love. his lover's rejection of him is unnatural. As such,

Hyperbole in this poem, the flowers symbolize unrequited love.
Shelly has used this device in the fifth line where it is
stated as, “Nothing in the world is single.” Here the writer In this poem, Shelley describes various
exaggerates loneliness. aspects of nature which include oceans, waves,
fountains, and rivers. Water is significant in this

Symbol & Allegory poem, as it represents the forcefulness of human
emotions. While emotions can be forceful like
The Mountain the flowing water of a fountain, they can also
In this poem, the image of the mountain represents be mild and calm like a river.

the sexual aspects of a relationship. The mountain is

described in the following way: "See the mountains kiss

high Heaven," with the word "kiss" suggesting a more

sexual companionship than previous descriptions. Here,

Shelley is suggesting that it is natural for companionships

to be physical.


Religious irony
Love's Philosophy has some religious sentiment,

such as the lines "the winds of heaven mix forever, with
a sweet emotion." However, Shelley is ironically known
for having radical religious beliefs.
Irony of nature

The speaker suggests that the love between himself
and his subject is as natural as features seen in the natural
world, such as the meeting of the river and the ocean.
However, he also ironically suggests that his lover does
not love him back, which surely means the connection
is not natural.
Irony of cliché

The poem includes some cliché images and
comparisons. As Shelley is considered to be an innovative
and radical romantic poet, these images might be intended
ironically. As such, this poem is often considered to be
playful and less serious than Shelley's other poems.


The speaker understates how hard it is to win
someone's affections, and believes that he can convince
her by saying that everything in nature has a companion.

Allusion Paradox

Shelley alludes to the biblical story of Noah's Ark The speaker of the poem suggests that his
by suggesting that everything in nature is paired. companionship with the unknown woman is natural,
he also suggests that she does not like him back.
As a result, it surely cannot be natural.


Here is the analysis of the prosody of the poem “Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Alliteration Rhyme Scheme

Alliteration is the repetition of the same consonant “Love’s Philosophy” has a highly regular rhyme
sounds in the same line such as the use of /n/ sound in scheme. Each stanza runs ABABCDCD. In other
“In one spirit meet and mingle” and the sound of /w/ in “ words, each line is paired with another line through
What is all this sweet work worth.” rhyme: The A rhyme in line 1 to the A rhyme in line
3, the B rhyme in line 2 to the B rhyme in line 4,
Assonance and so forth.

Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the As with many other of the techniques used
same line such as the sound of /a/ in “And the waves clasp in this poem in which a speaker seeks to "pair off"
one another” and /e/ sound in “And the rivers with the ocean.” physically with an addressee, the rhyme scheme
also creates pairs. In this way, the rhyme scheme
Consonance subtly reinforces and exemplifies the "divine law"
that the speaker is saying exists and is the basis
Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds for why the addressee should go along with this
in the same line such as the sound of /r/ in “No sister-flower attempted seduction.
would be forgiven” and /s/ sound in “See the mountains
kiss high heaven.” Note that not all of the rhymes in the poem
are full rhymes—river/ever for example, or heaven/
Rhetorical Question forgiven. But even these occasional slant rhymes
serve to emphasize the other perfect rhymes. One
Rhetorical question is a question that is not asked especially important full rhyme is the final one, in
to receive an answer; instead, it is asked for explanation which “sea” is rhymed with “me.” The purity of this
and clarity. Shelly has posed a rhetorical question at the rhyme gives the last line a sense of conclusion and
end of both stanzas to emphasize her point. For example, completion, as though the speaker’s argument is
“Why not I with thine? —” is a rhetorical question at the now done and that all is left to do, inevitably, is kiss.
end of the first stanza.

Meter These two rhetorical questions, for example,
are made to seem all-the-more obvious precisely
While “Love’s Philosophy” has a disarming simplicity because of how simply they are posed (the full
to the sound of its meter, technically speaking it is quite complex. four stresses in the line are not even necessary.
Most lines are written in lines of four-syllable tetrameter, with
a few notable exceptions, and the governing metrical foot of the
poem follows the stressed-unstressed pattern of the trochee.
However, the poem also contains a good bit of variation, often
through the use of inserting an extra syllable at the start—known
as catalexis. This pattern can be seen in the opening two lines
of the poem:
The | fountains | mingle | with the | river
And the | river | with the | ocean,

The first line has nine syllables, with catalexis inserting
an initial unstressed syllable. From there, stressed-unstressed
trochees continue through the rest of both lines. As a result,
these lines gain an interesting metrical symmetry in which the
two lines function as mirror images. The first line begins with an
unstressed syllable then alternates between stresses until it ends
on an unstressed syllable, while the second starts with a stressed
syllable and then alternates until it ends on an unstressed syllable.
Accordingly, these lines have a flowing sound befitting the subject
—water—that it describes. Lines 3 and 4 then does exactly the
same thing.

In both stanzas, the lines that mark the midway and end
points have less than four stresses (lines 4, 8, 12, and 16). This
provides a kind of gentle relief from the ongoing argument of seduction,
but also allows for the speaker to make the case that their argument
is, ultimately, very simple.
Why not I with thine? —
If thou kiss not me?


Shelley’s “Love’s Philosophy” follows a regular form. It consists of two stanzas, each of which is an eight-line
octave. The poem is an argument of seduction an effort to get the addressee to become physically intimate with
the speaker based on the idea that the world is full of an interconnectedness proscribed by a “divine law.” The
structure of the poem supports the speaker's efforts, as the poem itself is full of structural "pairs": it has two
structurally harmonious stanzas, it has many lines paired together through enjambment, it has two rhetorical
questions that end each stanza, and so on. The speaker, of course, wants to be part of a pair with the addressee
—and filling the poem with pairs helps reinforce this attempt at seduction.

In terms of the construction of the poem's seductive argument, both stanzas are very similar. Essentially,
they present evidence of the interconnectedness of the world, and conclude with a rhetorical question that makes
clear the reason for the speaker’s words in the first place. There is a key difference, though. The first stanza explicitly
states the “divine law” which governs the speaker’s argument—that all things are in union with one another. Having
stated this, the second stanza personifies its subject more intensely, with more sexually suggestive imagery and

Criticism and Evaluation of the Poem

The poem "Love's philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley
is a meaningful poem which describes about one’s feelings for
love was beautifully penned down. After reading this poem,
it leaves behind one with the feeling of being loved and to love
once again. The words that have been used are beautifully
picked to express the poet’s feelings and would make the reader
also have a feel for the love.

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