“She walks in beauty” by Lord Byron is the poem under analysis in the current paper. Lord Byron wrote this poem in 1814 when he already was an influential and widely respected author. As of today, this is one of the poet’s most recognizable works. The lyrical narrative focuses on woman’s elegance and character. The text does not have direct clues of her identity, but many researchers suspect that she is the author’s muse, and thus abstract, or the representation of the author himself. This paper will focus on the literary analysis of this poetry masterpiece. The discussion will include information on the techniques utilized by the author and the portrayal of the lady herself. The research will draw the conclusion on the style and the poem’s impact.
Most researchers agree on the circumstances, in which the poem was born to the world. Shortly before writing the poem, Byron attended a ball where he met a beautiful woman who became the source of inspiration for describing the lady in the verse. She was his cousin by marriage and possessed unprecedented poise and grace. The poem was written the very next morning. Some researchers disagree with the chain of events described above and are confident that the special woman who inspired Byron was his half-sister Augusta Maria Leigh, with whom he was rumored to have a sexual relationship. Either version may be true as there is no evidence as to the identity of the elegant woman.
The rhyme scheme of the poem is of particular note. Every line of each verse has eight syllables, which creates a special kind of musical cadence that people find appealing. Another feature used to make poem harmonious is alliteration. The pairs of words like “starry skies” or “day denies” work to lull the reader or the listener. Other figures of speech include metaphors, or more specifically personification.
Byron created one of the strongest impressions in the poem by contrasting light and darkness of the lady’s appearance. Her character is also paid attention to. Her modesty is praised while her beauty is compared to the one of a candle. While being a beautiful comparison, it does not provide needless praise and is, in fact, easy to visualize.
This paper has discussed the classic poem She walks in beauty written by Lord Byron. The poem’s style is forward, yet very efficient in making readers relate to the author’s vision of the lady. The poem also pays attention to inner beauty and even contrasts it to outward appearances. Some scholars think that the question of Byron’s personal feelings is relevant too. Does he appreciate the beauty of the lady as an objective observer or does he find himself enamored with her? The poem can be interpreted in several way. Thus, it escapes the pitfall of linearity that plagued many of its contemporaries. The poem proves that physical features alone cannot determine beauty, especially of a woman.
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