The Laboratory by Robert Browning

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“The laboratory” by Robert Browning The poem “the laboratory” is written by Robert Browning. Robert Browning was born in Camberwell, south London, as the son of Robert Browning, a wealthy clerk in the Bank of England. Browning received scant formal education. However, his father encouraged him to read and he had access to a large library, which founded a passionate love with poetry. The laboratory consists of 12 stanzas and has 4 lines to each stanza. Creating an image of the lab right from the opening 2 lines, the poet gets us hooked. We can almost picture ourselves there, as the speaker refers to what they are doing as devils work but it does not stop her, it entices her. She only refers to the other couple as 'he' and 'she' as they remain nameless, as they have done something that does not warrant being given a name. There are frequent references to gold and jewels in the poem compared to the grimness of the lab. Is the poet trying to tell us that money is the root of all evil? The poet in the poem seems almost too polite e.g. asking questions in contrast to the nature in which she asks them. The poet has created a situation, which we care not for the intended victim because they deserve some punishment even though this is too excessive. The title may suggest that the poems setting will be situated in a laboratory however this is not the case as the poems storyline enrols in the tale of bereavement and murder, at a ball hosted by the “king” where the poison will be administrated. The main character is planning on poisoning her rival and can be considered less attractive than her as she describes her as a “minion”. This shows us that the woman in question may have psychological or emotional weakness, which may be the reason why she cannot keep a man. There are hints of
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paranoia thought the poem such as the quote “While they laugh, laugh at me” which shows us, the speaker, believes the new couple to be laughing at her misfortune. Stanza one opens with the speaker putting on a mask to protect her eyes from the potion that the old mad is brewing. The old man is creating a deadly cocktail, to kill the speakers love rival. As the speaker is wearing a mask we are reminded of a medical procedure as she observes the formulating of the poison, as a doctor would pensively watch over an operation. “Which is the ...

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