She Walks In Beauty Theme

What is the theme of "She Walks in Beauty" by Lord Byron? What is the summary? Explain the summary line by line or by stanza.

Beauty is the primary theme of "She Walks in Beauty." For Lord Byron, beauty takes many forms, including the "tender light" of the woman's glowing features, the eloquence of her speech, and the purity of her love. Her inner beauty only enhances her outer beauty, making her the perfect woman in Byron's eyes.

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The primary theme of "She Walks in Beauty" is the perfect beauty and goodness of an idealized woman. Byron makes no attempt to give his subject any individuality, instead making her universal, so that any man in love can see his inamorata in the poem.

In the first stanza, Byron compares the beauty of his beloved to "the night / Of cloudless climes and starry skies." The vagueness of this comparison is central to the poem's technique. The night sky has no bearing on the woman's physical appearance. She resembles it only in being perfect and infinitely romantic. Again, the assertion that her appearance reflects "all that's best of dark and bright" is a claim to perfection, which is only intensified by the idea that she is not merely, in the words of the common phrase, "as beautiful as the day," but more beautiful than any "gaudy day."

The second stanza continues with the theme of perfection, saying that the slightest amendment to the appearance of the subject would impair her beauty. The last two lines add that this beauty is both internal and external. The sweetness of her thoughts is reflected in the radiance of her face.

The third stanza develops the theme of a beautiful mind reflected in a radiant appearance, adding action to thought by saying that the subject's days are spent "in goodness" and emphasizing the peace and innocence of both her life and her thoughts.

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Stanza 1: The author describes the beauty of a walking woman by comparing her to a clear, star-filled night sky with the use of a simile. Her beauty, particularly her eyes, is the result of a perfect union of light and dark. The delicate balance of light and dark is comparable to heavenly light.

Stanza 2: Just a little more shade or a little less light would disturb the perfect balance and lessen the woman's beauty. Her beauty is so striking, it is evidenced in every strand of her raven-colored (black) hair, which hangs gently upon her face. Her expressions are angelic and reflect her emotions and purity.

Stanza 3: On the woman's cheeks and above her eyebrows (her forehead), her winning smile and glowing tone appear, softly and calmly, but still subtly noticeable. She spends her days doing good deeds, and her features reflect her goodness. She is virtuous and has a peaceful mind and an innocent heart.

One of the themes of Lord Byron's "She Walks in Beauty" is the harmonious balance between light and dark to achieve perfection. Byron describes the woman's beauty as a delicate and exact marriage between light and dark, just as a starry sky contrasts and combines light and dark (the bright, illuminated stars against the clear, dark sky). He says if this balance were altered even in the slightest way, the woman would not be as beautiful. Byron is suggesting that for perfection to exist, there must be a precise, harmonious union between the contrasting forces of light and dark.

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Lines 1 and 2 introduce the two opposing forces in the poem, darkness and light, by telling us the night is clear with bright stars. Lines 3 and 4 tell us how these two opposite forces "meet" in her. meaning that she is able to bring them together within her, as is seen in her outward appearance as well as in her eyes, her inward heart and soul. In lines 5 and 6, the speaker tells us that when darkness and light join together in this beautiful woman, they produce a softness, a "tender light" in her, not like the light of day, but softer and better. In lines 7-10, the poet again combines opposites, such as her dark hair ("raven tress") and her lightened face. Even if she weren't proportioned just right, she would still be half magnificent. Again, he is talking about both inner and outer beauty, as he refers to the "nameless grace" in the lady's hair and face. Lines 11 and 12 refer to the woman's thoughts and how pure her mind is. Lines 13-18 are the conclusion of the poem where the poet writes three lines about the woman's beauty and three lines that tell about her character. Her physical beauty is a result of doing good deeds and leads to her having a pure mind and giving heart.

The themes of the poem deal with harmony and perfection. The opposing forces which normally are unable to exist together can do so in the beautiful woman. They live in peace and harmony. Together, these opposites produce perfection. She is perfect in her appearance and in her personality. The woman's beauty comes from her thoughts and innocent mind. Her inward self creates the beauty in her outward appearance.

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She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

This part means that she is beautiful like the nigt and that her face and eyes are a perfect combination of dark and light.

Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;

This part means that if the color of her hair were a little darker or lighter it would not be so beautiful.  But, as it is, it looks much nicer than bright light would look.

The rest of the poem is just saying that all this beauty, and the way she looks in general, show that she is a good person and one whose heart and soul are at peace.

So the theme is the admiration that the speaker feels when he sees the subject's beauty and grace.

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