The Poetess Fairy Tale Essay Research

The Poetess Fairy Tale Essay, Research Paper

The Poetess Fairy Tale

A single tear fell from her eye as the softly spoken words, I do, came forth from her trembling lips. A thousand questions blazed through her mind as she pondered her future, on this, her wedding day. She wondered, if she will promise to give up her home and the day-to-day associations with her father, brothers, sisters, and friends, will he in turn be everything to her so that she will never miss the life she leaves behind? (Taplin 81) Elizabeth Barrett Browning s hesitations and uncertainties disappear as she looks into Robert Browning s loving eyes (81). This moment would be the most inspiring of her life and lead to her most famous poems. Her religious beliefs throughout life, fanatical love of Italy, and romantic love for Robert Browning influenced Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her works.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning habituated religious beliefs in her early works. From her childhood, through adolescence, and into her adulthood, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a devout Christian (Morlier). Knowing the Christian religion enhanced Browning s ideas concerning this topic. One can easily see that her life stands, as do her early poems, on a model on Christian charity (Radley, Chapter 3 52). As Browning stated the importance of religion, she felt that Christians are safe in loving Christ, and were glorified in love in Heaven (52). This shows that religion is a significant factor in her writings. During the 1930 s, the majority of Browning s writings reflected on religious ideas and concepts (52). One of her first published works called The Seraphim and Other Poems deals with two angels commenting on the crucifixion of Jesus (Taplin 78). Religion served as the inception to Browning s writing. One can clearly see the great impact religion has had on her and her works. In her religious poem An Island Elizabeth Barrett Browning writes about a beautiful place, where everyone is having fun in an uncivilized atmosphere (Radley, Chapter 3 52). This poem gives one a sense of Heaven, because one often relates enjoyment, uncivilization, and beauty to characteristics of Heaven. By incorporating her Christian faith into her work, one can obviously see that religion served as a foundation and inspiration to her writing.

Browning s great love of Italy influenced the later works in her life. Browning loved Italy because to her it was a place of enlightenment, beauty, and strength (Radley, Chapter 1 25). In Italy, she was not reminded of her father s discontent with her marriage and her physical health was much better (25). While living at Casa Guidi, Browning became acquainted with many people such as the Carlyles, Hawthornes, and Sir Frederick Leighton (26). This enriched her life and opened her up into a new aspect of writing. Due to her love of and devotion to Italy, Browning was most concerned on the Italian Politics. The desire for a unified Italy prompted Browning s poems with the theme of Italian liberation (Taplin 85). In 1851, she published Casa Guidi Windows, a work that anticipates the coming forth of Italian liberty (O Hara 67). Browning displays her great devotion to Italy and its people by writing this poem. Also, in 1860, she wrote Poems Before Congress because of Napoleon III s agreement to leave Venice under the control of Austria (Taplin 85). Even though Elizabeth Barrett Browning felt betrayed because the congress of leading powers had been postponed, she wrote two poems, A Tale of Villafranca and Napoleon III of Italy, to show her faith in the leaders (86). Browning s admiration towards Italy influenced many of her works and ameliorated Browning s life.

Her everlasting love for Robert Browning notably inspired Elizabeth Barrett Browning s life and works. Browning hoped to leave her virtual prison as she expressed her sense of wonder in her sonnets of love for Robert Browning (Taplin 81). She wrote Sonnets from the Portuguese, which are forty-four sonnets depicting the various phases of a surrender to love ( Sonnet 43 234). These sonnets are written to celebrate the courtship of Elizabeth and her husband, the poet Robert Browning ( Elizabeth Barrett Browning ). By loving Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning s life, and writing style drastically changed. In these sonnets she asks questions to assure the love of Robert Browning due to her uncertainty and doubt ( Sonnet 43 235). How do I love thee? Let me count the ways, is Browning s most inspired sonnet ( Elizabeth Barrett Browning ). Elizabeth Barrett Browning s romantic love for Robert Browning is revealed through rapturous language ( Sonnet 43 235). This shows how romantic love even influenced her precise diction. One can clearly interpret that she does not want to be in a state of lonliness by reading the poem. For this, she ends her sonnet with a request for love continued after death (235). Even though she is mortal, she can say this because their love is everlasting and eternal. The romantic love between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning has been the major influence to her life and writing style.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning s religious beliefs, fanatical love of Italy, and her romantic love for Robert Browning influenced Browning and her works. She never would have thought that these life experiences would make such an impact on her writing. Browning never would have guessed her life would be so full and complete. Her life is similar to the fairy tale of Cinderella, because she did not believe that she would ever find true love. As her prince lifted her wedding veil she felt a sense of great comfort. Robert Browning sealed the romantic poetess fate with a long passionate kiss. The church bells rang as they walked hand-in-hand in

everlasting love.

Works Cited

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. DISCovering Authors (2000). Student Resource Center. Gale

Group. 28 Feb. 2001 .

Morlier, Margaret M. Elizabeth Barrett Browning s Spiritual Progress: Face to Face with God.

ANQ Spring 2000. Proquest Direct. 28 Feb. 2001 .

O Hara, Patricia A. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. British Women Writers. Ed. Paul Schlueter

and June Schlueter. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1988. 66-68.

Radley, Virginia L. Chapter 1: Biographical Sketch. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. New York:

Twayne Publishers, 1972.

Radley, Virginia L. Chapter 3: Early poems: Climbing Parnassus. Elizabeth Barrett

Browning. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1972.

Sonnet 43. Poetry for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski and Mary K. Ruby. Vol. 2.

Detroit: Gale Research, 1998.

Taplin, Gardner B. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Concise Dictionary of British Literary

Biography. Ed. Karen L. Rood. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale research, 1991.


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