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.

Browning takes for granted the existence and supremacy of God as the creator and the sole governor of the universe, and was not, in the least, in a position to doubt His existence. He considered God as an all pervading Deity, an essence always partially, never wholly revealed in the creative energy of nature and the aspirations of man. All nature is viewed as a thought of God . “God is the perfect poet”, he says “who in His person acts his own creations.” So the whole universe is a crystallized thought of God to him:

                                        “God dwells in all

                        From life’s minute beginnings up at last

                        To man,


                                         God is seen God

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                        In the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in the soul & the cloud.”

Browning did not conceive of God as a cruel and tyrannical being unmindful of the lot of the creative universe, or a sinister intelligence bent on punishing mankind. He conceived of God as a benignant and sympathetic power helping men in their endeavors if they reposed faith in Him and His mercy:

                        “God made all the creatures and gave them

                        Our love and our fear

                        We and they are His children

                        Our family here.”

Browning’s philosophy of life, evident in many of his ...

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