• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Robert Browning's Use of the Dramatic Monologue.

Extracts from this document...


Paper I Project Nisha James B.A.Eng(Hons), I B Roll no - 53 I Robert Browning's Use of the Dramatic Monologue Robert Browning is one of the foremost poets of the Victorian era and his most noted contribution to English literature is undoubtedly the literary form of the Dramatic Monologue, which was not independently developed but none the less firmly established by him. His first poem Pauline was published anonymously in 1833 and Browning sent twelve copies of it to his friend W.J.Fox, of which J.S.Mill received a copy. Mill harshly reproached the author with what he considered obsessive autobiographical tendencies with a comment "With considerable poetic powers, this writer seems to me possessed with a more intense and morbid self-consciousness that I have ever known in any sane human being". Thanks to the complete failure of Pauline, which failed to sell a single copy, and the moderate success of Paracelsus, published in 1835, Browning worked on a new poetic mode. He manifestly hesitated between several poetic modes and genres, since he tried the lyrical with Pauline, the dramatic with Paracelsus and the epic with Sordello before choosing to mix the lyrical and the dramatic with the use of the dramatic monologue. ...read more.


To complete the construal of the dramatic monologue's meaning, we require access to the response of the person to whom it is addressed, and for whom its rhetorical manoeuvres are intended. In withholding that response Browning forces the reader himself to provide it, and thus compels him to hypostasize a meaning beyond the periphery of the persona's intention.' Robert Langbaum saw the form as a continuation of an essentially Romantic "poetry of experience" in which the reader experiences a tension between sympathy and judgment. Glenn Everett contested this view with his own theory of 'engagement, then detachment' as he saw the role of the listener as one of discovery which engages the imagination, but the listener must remain detached and abstain from passing judgment until the work is known as a whole. Glenn Everett proposed that Browningesque dramatic monologue has three requirements: 1. The reader takes the part of the silent listener. 2. The speaker uses a case-making, argumentative tone. 3. We complete the dramatic scene from within, by means of inference and imagination. Two unique and differing examples of Browning's dramatic monologues are found in his poems Fra Lippo Lippi and Andrea del Sarto. ...read more.


The name of the historical main character gives us a clue to the time, and there is no need to add a subtitle as it occurs in "Pictor Ignotus", "Florence, 15- ". Several places are mentioned: Cosimo de Medici's house, the door of a nearby house. On a larger geographic scale, Florence and Italy make up the frame of the poem. Italy, first, in the title, and thanks to the onomastics (Cosimo de Medici, Old Aunt Lapaccia, the Camaldolese monks) combined with the names of famous artists like Giotto, Fra Angelico, Lorenzo Monaco, Masaccio (alluded to as " Hulking Tom "). Far from being fastidious name-dropping on Lippo's part, these references made in passing belong to the daily background and occupations of the characters. The same goes for the cultural aspects: carnival time and its festivities, the Florentine magistrates, Chianti evoked in an apparently spontaneous metaphor. Similarly, in Andrea del Sarto lines such as "And look a half-hour forth on Fiesole","Who listened to the Legate's talk last week" give us a clue as to the historical and geographical location of the poem. Browning organizes around his speakers a solid network of metaphors and cultural traits whose function - if not aim - is to legitimize the words of the speaker, and consequently their realistic quality. Thus in Lippo's mouth the word "villa" takes up its Italian origin. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Robert Browning section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Robert Browning essays

  1. Brownings Dramatic Monologues

    She shakes her 'yellow hair' is the one to put his head against her chest, there is also irony here because the cottager kills Porphyria with her own hair and then he puts her head against his chest. The Duchess' is showing too much of her sexuality because she is

  2. Discuss Robert Browning's Studies of Male

    There is also the change of word order in the first line of the quotation (syntax). Browning could have easily said 'Around her little throat three times'. However he choice of word order also creates an effect. This is that it puts the reader/listener in suspense by keeping the 'throat' at the end of the line.

  1. Discuss the importance of religion with reference to at least two poems within the ...

    A striking example of this misapplication is that 'in ordering his tomb' the Bishop in effect parodies many biblical events, primarily, Lord's command to Moses to build him a sanctuary. The Bishop, who sees himself as "an object worthy of worship", wishes his tomb to be constructed of stones from

  2. A Toccata of Galuppi's' is a dramatic monologue by Robert Browning in which the ...

    For the persona, who is probably listening to Galuppi, Galuppi's 'meaning' is so obvious that only a 'deaf and blind' person could 'misconceive' it. This having been said at the very outset of the poem, the persona then ridicules Galuppi's music.

  1. How does Robert Browning use the dramatic monologue to portray madness in his poems

    This is an example of rhyming couplets, using this technique makes the poem have a constant rhythm and it therefore flows better, or it would if enjambment wasn't used as it is here. Enjambment is where instead of pausing at the end of a line you pause at the end of the sentence so the poem makes sense.

  2. Demonstrate what the dramatic monologue form allows Robert Browning to achieve in his poetry

    that would undermine the "paltry onion-stone" of that of his rival, Old Gandolf. He interrupts his philosophising to declare that the tomb should be "Peach-blossom marble all... True peach/ Rosy and flawless." Later though, he supersedes even this outrageous demand, asserting "All lapis, all, my sons," referring to the incredibly

  1. Is it possible to sympathise in any way with the villains in the two ...

    be very 'natural' with imagery such as "bough of cherries" "orchard" and "white mule" associated with her. Porphyria's lover convinces himself that his murder of Porphyria was fine since "God has not said a word" which seems a frighteningly light hearted take on the murder of the women who mattered so much to him.

  2. Discuss the importance of religion with reference to at least two poems within the ...

    to emphasize the precise nature of the character's attitudes towards life and death, matter and spirit. The Bishop, who may be perceived as an embodiment of the Renaissance, persistently combines life and religion in a most blasphemous manner, for having no true belief in Christian immortality, he yet tries to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work