Reading “Sonnets from the Portuguese,” the speaker frequently reminds me of Jane Eyre. The sonnet sequence, although addressed to the beloved, is more importantly a conversation with the self, a rational assessment of the situation that the speaker is in. Both Jane and EBB contemplate the dynamic between the lovers, are the man and woman of equal standing? Sonnets VIII and IX ask the questions “What can I give thee back” (i) “Can it be right to give what I can give” (i). The tone here is especially interesting, she does not phrase it as “Is it right to give what I give.” The repeated “can” weakens the tone, conveys a sense of reserve. Jane shares EBB’s concern that Rochester provides her a means of living, a place to live, but she has nothing to give back. Another theme shared between Jane Eyre and “Sonnets” is, in the words of EBB, the “silence of my womanhood” (ix, XIII). Both women are brilliantly eloquent in their writing, contemplative in their inner dialogue, but they have trouble verbalizing their sophisticated emotions. The male-dominated society and language don’t allow space for female voices. As a result, EBB and Jane rely heavily on their spirituality as their way of self-exploration. They address frequently to God and the soul, who are their only listeners. The gothic theme also rises out of the repression of female voices. Jane’s double, Bertha, causes chaos in the male-governed mansion, warns Jane of the danger of marriage before her wedding. Similarly, in sonnet I, EBB notices “how a mystic Shape did move / Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair” (x-xi). Their anxiety over losing their selves in the marriage is demonstrated in moments of terror, where the repressed selves send a violent warning.