Examine the View That ‘She Walks in Beauty’ Depicts a Speaker More Concerned with Virtue Than Beauty.

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Bovine
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Lord Byron’s poem ‘She walks in beauty’ describes a beautiful women as being like a “cloudless”, starry night sky. She encapsulates a sense of harmony and beneath her fine face lie serene thoughts. Her expressions are not only pleasing,they also suggest goodness and purity.

Byron lists the beautiful things about her such as her “cheek” , “brow”, and “smiles” however Byron’s final thoughts are not about the features of the body, they are of the “heart”, the women’s outward beauty is the result of inner goddess and purity. Her beautiful features “tell of days in goodness spent”, she has no guilty conscience, her “mind” is “at peace” and the love she feels is either chaste or she is not in love at all.
Byron’s use of “How pure” when talking about her thoughts suggests that he is concerned more with her virtue then her beauty.
The main sources of the lady’s beauty are her mind which is “at peace with all below” and her “heart whose love is innocent”. By having a peaceful mind and innocent heart, the lady can bring the beauty of both darkness and light out together without contradiction, her purity softens the edges of the contrasts. This suggests that Byron is more concerned with virtue than beauty

The rhyme scheme is regular throughout the poem and there is a steady iambic tetrameter that creates a regular up and down rhythm, the rhythm changes for only one line in the first stanza which begins with a stressed syllable on “meet” this draws attention to the beauty of the women in which the “best” of opposites meet.
The idea of walking in beauty is unusual, but it could suggest walking in the light of God, the sense of heaven denying such tender light to the “gaudy day” might suggest that heaven is allowing the beauty of this women to appear in the night.
Byron uses each stanza to talk about one of her features, the first one talks about “her eyes” the second…...

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