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Considering in detail one or two poems or passages from longer poems, discuss Browning's handling of dramatic monologue.

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Introduction

Considering in detail one or two poems or passages from longer poems, discuss Browning's handling of dramatic monologue. In the course of your answer: Look closely at the effects of language, imagery and verse form. Comment on how your chosen poem relates to other poems by Browning. A dramatic monologue is a form of poetry where a speaker speaks to an often unspecified listener and portrays through what they say inner workings of their character, usually unintentionally. Browning uses this device often in his poems as it is an excellent way of 'telling a story' successfully, however, the writer must immediately establish the situation in the poem quickly and without seeming forced in order to effectively set the scene. The poem 'Andrea Del Sarto' is set on an Autumn evening in 1525, and the story is based heavily on Vasari's 'Lives of the Painters' where Vasari describes Andrea's failure, his obsession with a wife who ruins him, the theft from King Francis the first and his consequent fall from celebrity status. Browning was fascinated with Italian history and his portrayal of Andrea and the knowledge of events in his life In Browning's 'Andrea Del Sarto' he fails to mention conclusively whom exactly the narrator of the poem is, however, because the poem's name is evidently a character, and no mention is made of who the narrator is, it seems Browning expects the reader to come to conclusion through the poem that Andrea is, in fact, the narrator. ...read more.

Middle

The poem itself is a dramatic monologue written in iambic pentameter, which lends itself very easily to the narrative and natural conversation effect, however this is not regular, not every line is in iambic pentameter and some dashes are added at the beginnings of lines to throw the reader off rhythm to add to the feeling of Andrea's frustration with his station in life. 'I do what many dream of all their lives, -Dream? Strive to do, and agonise to do,' There are no clear rhymes either, to increase the effect of a conversational, natural poem. . The poem is also lacking in enjambment, it gives the impression the poem could be dramatised without an audience realising that it is, in fact poetry, this is also shown by Andrea's giving Lucrezia direction whilst talking to her, 'This chamber for example - turn your head - All that's behind us!' Clear cut lines, indicating where the reader must emphasise the words and enabling an obvious meaning to be deduced, the 'turn your head' indicates action easily dramatised. The scheme differs to another dramatic monologue 'My last Duchess', although also written in iambic pentameter there is a definite rhyming couplet scheme, however the rhyming is unobtrusive due to Browning's use of enjambment, so the reader does not necessarily initially realise the rhyme, therefore it does not interfere with the conversational aspect of the poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

Does Del Sarto seem to think that he compromises the integrity and genius of his art somehow by loving Lucrezia so much?' Once again, what Abigail Newman writes seems plausible, Andrea constantly needs Lucrezia by his side, he claims that if Lucrezia would simply let him sit with her, hand in hand by the window, then he shall be refreshed and able to paint well the next morning. Yet he also seems resentful of the fact that he needs her, 'Why do I need you? What wife had Rafael, or has Agnolo? Andrea's dependency on Lucrezia is his downfall, yet he is unable to admit directly that this is the case. The poem is incredibly beautiful, and is showcases extremely well Browning's extraordinary talent with dramatic monologues, Andrea's character and his wife's actions are revealed slowly as the poem continues without once giving away the entire story at once and only getting Andrea's true, snide opinion of his wife's lover when he calmly tells Lucrezia at the end when her lover calls, 'Again the Cousin's whistle! Go my love' Andrea holds on to the end still calling Lucrezia his love whilst knowing she is off to visit her lover. In my judgement, the poems mixture of gorgeous language and imagery make it one of Browning's finest character portrayals, despite Andrea being a man in the depths of despair. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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