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The Darker Side Of Beauty

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The Darker Side of Beauty
George Byron’s poem titled, “She Walks in Beauty,” is a love poem about a beautiful woman and all of her features. The poem follows a basic iambic tetrameter with an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable. This pattern can be clearly seen when one looks at a line: She walks / in beau / ty like / the night. Within this rhythm the reader can look deeper into the contents of Byron’s poem and discover a battle of two forces.
The two forces involved in Byron’s poem are the darkness and light- at work in the woman’s beauty, and also the two areas of her beauty- the internal and the external. The poem appears to be about a lover, but in fact was written about Byron’s cousin, Anne Wilmot, who he met at a party. She was wearing a mourning dress of spangled black. This fact, the black dress that was brightened with spangles, helps the reader to understand the origin of the poem. Byron portrays this, the mixing of the darkness and the light, not by describing the dress or the woman’s actions, but by describing her physical beauty as well as her interior strengths.
In the beginning of the poem, the reader is given the image of darkness: “She walks in beauty, like the night / Of cloudless climes and starry skies”. Immediately the poem brings together its two opposing forces that are at work, darkness and light. In lines three and four Byron emphasizes that the unique features of the woman is her ability to contain opposites within her by stating, “And all that’s best of dark and bright / Meet in her aspect and her eyes”. The joining together of the darkness and the light can be seen in her “aspect,” or appearance, but also in her “eyes.” In this case, the woman’s eyes aren’t used as a physical feature, but more as a window into her inner self, revealing what’s in her heart. Beginning with line five, the word “meet’ is emphasized again as Byron writ...

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