Consider the figurative language and imagery in this poem. What do they suggest about the poem’s theme? What idea is Lord Byron, the author, communicating, and what poetic techniques does he use to convey his message?
Byron’s figurative language of movement and texture communicate the theme of beauty in “She Walks in Beauty.” A brief look at simply the verbs of the poem demonstrate his technique. When referring to the lady, he uses, “walks, meet (in her), lightens (over her), express, glow, and tell.” Not all of these exemplify the theme of beauty, however, none of them convey ugliness or distaste.
On the other hand, many of them communicate elegance quite directly. “Lighten” and “glow” convey a softness and airiness associated with beauty. Furthermore, the opening line, “She walks in beauty,” employs a verb comprehensive verb. Walking can signify an entire way of life, as in “I walk in wisdom” or “Do not walk in the way of evil.” Byron’s lady walks in beauty, the theme that captures his main character captures his poem.
The comprehensiveness of love also appears in the final stanza. What technique does Byron use? The poet presents the lady’s body parts in order to communicate the all-encompassing nature of her beauty. He mentions the cheeks, brow, smile, mind, and heart. We cannot throw these off as insignificant, nor can we treat them as overly-literal referents. The larger purpose of Byron is to associate beauty with a collection of body parts and thus convey the comprehensiveness of the woman’s radiance.
We must limit our study, but a brief consideration of the theme of beauty and Byron’s figurative language and imagery suggests a pattern. He uses language and image to communicate the primary theme of his poem: beauty. However, he does not stop at beauty, he fronts its all-encompassing nature, as the lady “walks in beauty” and expresses such elegance through her physical features.