From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (Sonnet 43)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (Sonnet 43)

  

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (Sonnet 43) Theme of Admiration

Love is closely linked with admiration in "How do I love thee?" This is partly because the speaker admires her beloved as well as loving him, but it's also because her love for him seems to have replaced several other kinds of more childish admiration that she had for other people around her.

Questions About Admiration

  1. Does the speaker of "How do I love thee?" look up to or admire her beloved? Is she placing the beloved on a pedestal? Explain.
  2. Who are the speaker's "lost saints" (12)? There are a few good ways to answer this question, so don't feel pressured to come up with the "right" answer.
  3. At one point in this poem, the speaker says that she loves with her "childhood's faith" (10). In what or whom did she have faith? Why? Does she still have that same faith?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Although the speaker of "How do I love thee?" felt admiration for her childhood heroes, her adult love is a transformation of that admiration into affection.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement