Sonnets from Portuguese is a collection of 44 sonnets written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning during the years 1845-1846 and published in 1850. The sonnets have been very popular since their publication.
Elizabeth Browning was a Victorian poet whose poetry was very popular in England as well as in the United States. All her sonnets revolve around her intense love for her would-to-be husband Robert Browning.
FORM & STRUCTURE:
The poem If Thou Must Love Me is a sonnet. A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem with a normal rhyming pattern in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme in this sonnet is abba/abba/cdc/dc. This sonnet If Thou Must Love Me is a combination of Petrarchan and Shakespearean conventions. The fusion of these two conventions adds unity to the sonnets and seems to echo the unity of the couple portrayed in the poem.
USE OF DIALOGUE:
The poet has used dialogue in the sonnet. She had put forth a quotation, an argumentation by a lover presented in a form of sonnet. Moreover, the sonnet seems like a discussion by the both parties about their relationship. The poem is more about the lady’s opinion about how her man should love her. It seems like she is not happy with the present idealism of her man.