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How is the tone of the poem indicated in "She Walks in Beauty"?

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frandizzle | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 10, 2008 at 5:09 AM via web

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How is the tone of the poem indicated in "She Walks in Beauty"?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 10, 2008 at 8:51 AM (Answer #1)

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In describing the beauty of the subject, Byron uses the contrasting images of darkness and light.  This contradiction helps to mute the tone of the poem.  Instead of being overly awed by the beauty, the tone is one of quiet reverence.

"All thats best of dark and bright" demonstrates this contradiction.  It is continued in the juxtaposition of "one shade the more, one ray the less".  The raven tresses of her hair and the soft light of her face is just one more example of Byron's use of parallels.

The love and admiration of the poet is more sincere with the use of reverence and not awe.  Should the description of the women be exaggerated in the positive, the audience would begin to doubt its depth.  Byron tempers his tone to make it more believable.


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