Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Poetic Influences When analyzing the work of any writer or artist, several factors must be taken into account. A lot of the influence seen in a writer's work can be traced throughout their life to momentous events, tragic or joyous. In Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry, many of the themes, subject and specific styles of her writing are reflected in her life's story and personal beliefs. Sonnet XLIII, her well-known poem from the book, Sonnets from the Portuguese, clearly reflects the amorous feelings in Browning's personal life, while poems such as "The Cry of the Children"ÃÂ portray her political views regarding issues on slavery and child labor. The style, themes and subject of both Sonnet XLIII and "The Cry of the Children"ÃÂ are influenced by her life and political views.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born at the beginning of the nineteenth century into a wealthy, aristocratic family.
She lived a normal childhood until she was diagnosed with a severe illness in her teenage years. As a medical prescription, Browning took opium, eventually developing a lifelong addiction to the drug. When Browning was only twenty-two years old, she suffered the death of her mother, which was very traumatic to her. After the death of her mother, there followed many years of suffering and misfortune, deaths of brothers, a recurrence of her illness and the loss of the family fortune. There was however enough wealth left to support a very comfortable lifestyle in a fashionable area of London. Her reputations as a poet and critic grew while she retreated to her sick room, unable to breathe in London's polluted air. While she lived in solitude, the only person permitted to visit Barrett Browning was her future husband, Robert. Although her father did not approve of the marriage,