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Sonnet How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning Sonnet XVIII by William Shakespeare Both Elizabeth Barrett Brownings How Do I Love Thee and William Shakespeares Sonnet XVIII explore the universal theme of eternal transcending love Similarly both sonnets are confessions of love towards a male subject Brownings is a passionate love one that the Greeks referred to as eros Eros is Love who overpowers the mind and tames the spirit in the breasts of both gods and men Shakespeares however is the love of agape It is the love one feels for his family and friends In dealing with the theme of love both poems reference the beauty of their emotions and the everlasting nature of such beauty Barretts How Do I Love Thee follows the structure of a Petrarchan sonnet and is therefore written in iambic pentameter It consists of 14 lines and is divided into an octave and a sestet The octave has a rhyme scheme of ABBA ABBA It presents the primary problem facing the author in this case being the question of her declaration of love The sestet has a rhyme scheme of CDCDCD It resolves the problem presented by clarifying the ways in which the author loves her beloved and claiming that her love would be strengthened in the afterlife Shakespeares Sonnet XVIII follows the structure of a classical Shakespearean sonnet and as such is written in iambic pentameter It consists of 14 lines divided into three quatrains and a rhyming couplet The rhyme scheme of the first quatrain is ABAB and introduces the primary notion of the sonnet it being the comparison of the speakers beloved to a summers day The second quatrain has a rhyme scheme of CDCD and strengthens the comparison of the beloved to a summers day The third quatrains rhyme scheme is EFEF shifting the focus from the temperate summer to the virtually everlasting nature of
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