“How Do I love Thee” By Elizabeth Barrett, Analysis Essay

“How do I love Thee” by Elizabeth Barrett

Lyric poetry was the resultant vector of Elizabeth Barrett’s oeuvre. The reason for such lyric poems was her one love during her entire life. Since childhood, Elizabeth’s life was not easy, because she was an incapacitated person by halves. Being a teenager, she spent all days long with brothers, sisters, and books, because her father did not let her have any connections. She lived like in confinement: the only experience in elementary things she could obtain was through books. That is why literature was an essential part of her life, and she became a poet. But love romances did happen in Elizabeth’s activity — she met her love, Robert Browning. Their souls were created for each other — both were poets and like no other could understand each other.

Despite Elizabeth’s father they continued to correspond back and forth. Their love letters were sole of the most romantic and long in size in British literature — there were 573 letters. Like in many love stories in the world history, parents adversarial position was a huge barrier for their love. Nevertheless, they continued their meetings and married in 1846 in the nearest church in London. Their marriage was a proof of the fact that real love still exists. Robert was an example of the true man: he was brave, reliable, but in relationships with Elizabeth he was soft. She regarded her beloved one to be a quintessential man. Her love was fulfilled in many poems, dedicated to Robert. One of them is “How do I love Thee”

The main idea of the poem “How do I love Thee”

This ballad has fundamentally sincere love between two creative minds. Every line brings both revelation and imitativeness to the readers. Such positiveness is expressed in lines “I love thee with the passion put to use in my old griefs, with my childhood’s faith”. Since immaturity and to the death poetess carried this feeling through her unified being. While reading this poem, you can feel high emotions and the state of the spirit, which bring you out of reality to the rosy heavens.

Figure of speech

”How do I love Thee” is Elizabeth’s Barrett eminent limerick number 43. The ballad’s storyteller was a woman and this was rather unusual for the Victorian age. To make ballad much deeper and more interesting, the author used many figures of speech to differentiate between the prosiness and a courage happiness.


In the opinion of many researchers one of the most ideal and optimal turns of expression — simile appears through the poem in rather unexpected ways: for the first sight, a classical poem about love turns out to be a masterpiece of a kind. Lines “I love thee freely, as men strive for rights” and “I love thee purely, as they turn from praise” are filled with harmony and integrity.

Playing on words

Not less interesting is the author’s playing on words “I love thee with a love”, which express her deep sensation to her husband. When talking about love, hyperbole is that figure which can accurately exactly describe feelings and in the highly expressive, rhythmical literary piece, there are lines “breath, tears, smiles of all my life”, which express all authors essence.


With the aid of such harmonious figure of speech as a metaphor, poetess describe a thin string of the ego: “my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace”. To sum up, poetry is a humanistic example of the literature of the Victorian’s age. It recovers the deep sensitivity of love, which not appears in the shades of everyday life. This occurs in the hearts of beloved and cared ones, leaving all troubles behind.