New
New
Year 10
Eduqas

Analysing 'Sonnet 43'

I can understand how Barrett Browning uses language, form and structure to present her love as bountiful.

New
New
Year 10
Eduqas

Analysing 'Sonnet 43'

I can understand how Barrett Browning uses language, form and structure to present her love as bountiful.

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Barrett Browning wrote this poem to her future husband to express her deep love for him.
  2. Barrett Browning begins the poem by expressing her love in a more abstract and unquantifiable way.
  3. In the sestet, Barrett Browning finds more personal and specific ways to express (and measure) her love.
  4. The image of a sun arguably represents the idea that her lover brings warmth, light, sustenance and purpose to her life.
  5. Barrett Browning’s use of imagery conveys her admiration for, and adoration of her future husband.

Common misconception

Pupils often fail to notice or appreciate how defiant this poem is at the end.

In saying that she will love her future husband "better" after death, Barrett Browning defies her father and any cosmic force which may try to prevent the couple from being together. Barrett Browning's passion and commitment to Browning is evident.

Keywords

  • To liberate - to set something free

  • Unquantifiable - impossible to measure

  • Bountiful - abundant and endless

  • To evoke - to make someone imagine or feel something

  • Defiant - a refusal to obey somebody or something

Equipment

You will need a copy of the Eduqas poetry anthology.

Content guidance

  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
When Barrett Browning wrote 'Sonnet 43', who was it for at the time of writing?
her current husband
Correct answer: her future husband
her father
Q2.
Barrett Browning was defiant against her father's wishes when she married Robert Browning. What does 'defiant' mean?
Correct answer: to refuse to obey somebody or something
to fully obey someone or something
to partially obey someone or something
Q3.
What connotations do we often have of the sun?
Correct answer: warmth
Correct answer: life
fate
Correct answer: sustenance
Q4.
is the use of words to create pictures in the minds of readers.
Correct Answer: imagery, Imagery
Q5.
How does Sonnet 43 open?
"I love thee freely"
"I love thee purely"
Correct answer: "How do I love thee?"
Q6.
Match the components of a Petrarchan sonnet up to their explanations.
Correct Answer:octet,introduces an idea, problem, question or an argument

introduces an idea, problem, question or an argument

Correct Answer:sestet,responds to the questions or ideas introduced in the beginning

responds to the questions or ideas introduced in the beginning

Correct Answer:volta,marks a shift in tone in the poem

marks a shift in tone in the poem

6 Questions

Q1.
If something is 'bountiful' it is...
energetic and lively
Correct answer: abundant and endless
happy and joyful
Q2.
What images in 'Sonnet 43' could represent the idea that Barrett Browning's lover is the centre of her world and brings her life?
Correct answer: "sun"
"candle-light"
"childhood's faith"
Q3.
In 'Sonnet 43', Barrett Browning feels her love is 'unquantifiable'. What does this mean?
Correct answer: It's impossible to measure.
It's easy to explain.
It's all that she feels.
Q4.
A Petrarchan sonnet begins with an 8 line section called an octet. It often poses a problem or introduces an idea. Which quotation suggests a problem at the start of 'Sonnet 43'?
Correct answer: "How do I love thee?"
"Let me count the ways."
"My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight"
Q5.
A is a shift in tone in a sonnet.
Correct Answer: volta
Q6.
The of a sonnet responds to the problem posed at the start of the sonnet in the octet.
Correct Answer: sestet