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Browning's philosophy of life.

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Browning's philosophy of life Browning was primarily a thinker, and would not have understood Keat's prayer for "a world of sensation rather than of thought." He "chose poetry" because he felt his thought was valuable, requisite to be given to the world, and given more arrestingly in verse, for which he know he had a very unusual gift. A large portion of his poetry consists of his reflections, sometimes bare and bald, sometimes buried beneath masses of verbal debris, more often clothed in his own individual kind of rich and varied verse. Browning's religion is inextricably bound up with his philosophy of life. His philosophy is no set professional synthesis, but the immediate product of a series of recurrent insights into life. His poems are his philosophy. He is one of those great poets who have given a concrete synthesis of life, a creative and constructive line of thinking and above all a deep and profound philosophy of life grounded in optimism and faith. In estimating Browning's philosophy of life one is to bear in mind that he treated certain elements as axiomatic. He harbored no doubts about certain of his philosophical conceptions and took them for granted. He was not prepared to enter into any arguments about the veracity of certain of his philosophical thoughts and ideas. ...read more.


Browning was not an ascetic who shunned the world, nor across grained man to regard the universe as a vale of sorrow and tears, "Where but to think is to be full of sorrow", "Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,/Or new love pine at them beyond tomorrow." [Ode to a Nightingale: John Keats] He had a genuine interest in the world and human life, which he considered to be real and good, for he found many things that were good in it. Optimism is a philosophy, a considered judgment on life. Often though not necessarily, associated with happiness, which is mainly a matter of temperament. Fra Lippo Lippi's philosophy, his optimistic judgment on life, is summed up in his belief that: "This world's no blot for us, Nor blank-it means intensely, and means good, To find its meaning is my meat and drink." [Fra Lippo Lippi: Robert Browning] Although Lippo is a dramatic character, Browning's own voice and attitude to life speak through him, eloquent in every touch of delighted description of nature, of human beauty, or of the man-made scene. Again in the same poem we have another statement, recognizing the goodness of the world--- "The world and life's too long to pass for a dream." [Fra Lippo Lippi: Robert Browning] "Andrea del Sarto" is a poem which has to be viewed in a wider context than the special one of the artist's life and activity, for it expresses an important aspect of Browning's philosophy. ...read more.


[Rabbi Ben Ezra: Robert Browning] Life is a probation . life follows life . man's soul is immortal death need not terrify us. As Browning faithfully voices in "Rabbi Ben Ezra": "So, better, age, exempt From strife, should know, than tempt Further. Thou waitedst age: wait death, nor be afraid!" [Rabbi Ben Ezra: Robert Browning] Imperfects and failures are man's glory, because they prophesy the future bliss. What man fails to achieve in this world would be attained by him in the next--- that was Browning's hope and faith as he in "A Grammarian's Funeral" states: "...What's time? Leave now for dogs and apes! "Man has forever." [A Grammarian's Funeral: Robert Browning] Such is the optimistic philosophy of Browning, based on his invincible faith, not founded on any arguments for optimism, nor on opinions, but on life which is the work of God. The pronouncements on life are preponderantly sober, but the sky is lighted by courage and hope and faith. ### Browning rejected the idea of asceticism and believed that this life should be lived to the full, like "Fra Lippo Lippi" he believed in "the value and significance of flesh", and he causes Rabbi Ben Ezra to advise: "Let us not always say, "Spite of this flesh today I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole!" As the bird wings and sings, Let us cry" All good things Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh helps soul!" [Rabbi Ben Ezra: Robert Browning] ...read more.

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