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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) Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. How would the poem be different if the opening line was "Why do I love thee?"
  2. How many ways of loving does the speaker identify? Do these ways of loving overlap, conflict, or complement one another? Explain.
  3. Why do you think "How do I love thee?" is such a popular love poem? What features of the sonnet might make it more accessible or universal than other love poetry?
  4. How would the poem affect readers differently if the beloved was referred to as "you" instead of as "thee"? What if the beloved was given a first name – Romeo, Robert, etc.?

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