In a dramatic monologue, the speaker unknowingly reveals his personality through his speech.
Robert Browning — English poet and dramatist. Though Browning was eventually considered a premier Victorian poet, his critical reputation was hard won. Throughout his career, he honed the dramatic monologue, elevating the form to a new level. His experimentation with versification and with language, combined with the diversity and scope of his subject matter, forced Browning's critics to realize that this poet could not be evaluated by conventional literary standards.
Particularly devoted to dramatic characterization, Browning explored the human psychology through his characters and the dramatic situations he presented.
Modern critics are concerned with Browning's poetic development, with the themes that unite the various poems in a particular volume, and with the unique elements of Browning's innovative style. Biographical Information Born in Camberwell, a borough in southeast London, Browning was raised in a relatively affluent environment.
His father was a well-read clerk for the Bank of England, and his mother was a strict Congregationalist. While Browning read widely as a boy, his formal education was somewhat irregular. Beginning in the early s he attended the nearby Peckam School, where he studied for four years.
Because Browning had not been raised as an Anglican, he was unable to attend the major English universities, Oxford and Cambridge.
Instead, in he entered the recently-founded London University but terminated his studies after less than one year. Browning decided to pursue a career as a poet and lived in his parents' home, supported by them, until He published his first poem, Pauline: A Fragment of a Confession, anonymously in Browning continued writing and publishing and experimenting with the dramatic monologue untilwhen he fell in love with Elizabeth Barrett.
The pair secretly married inthen departed for Italy where they settled in Florence and wrote until Elizabeth's death in Browning Robert browning and the dramatic monologue essay returned to England, and after a period of literary inactivity, he began writing again.
He remained highly prolific throughout the rest of his life. Browning died in while visiting his son in Venice. Major Works After the anonymous publication of Pauline, which Browning later insisted was a dramatic piece, many readers speculated that the sentiments expressed were the poet's own.
In his next work, ParacelsusBrowning established the objective framework offered by a more dramatic form and was thus able to distance himself from the characters in the poem.
The dramatic monologue is based on the life of the Renaissance chemist Paracelsus, and the work received largely positive critical reviews.
Browning then published Sordello inalso based on a Renaissance subject, but the poem was less than favorably received by the critics, many of whom found it obscure and affected.
InBrowning began publishing a series of poems and dramas under the title Bells and Pomegranates. The final volume appeared in and failed to restore Browning's reputation among critics. Inwith the publication of Men and Womencontaining Browning's well-known love poems and dramatic monologues, Browning began to receive the respect of some of his critics, although popular success still eluded him.
It was not until the s, and in particular the publication of Dramatis Personae inthat Browning achieved major critical and popular success. The volume was followed shortly thereafter by his masterpiece, The Ring and the Book A series of dramatic monologues spoken by different characters, the work was based on an Italian murder case.
The Ring and the Book cemented Browning's reputation as one of the foremost poets of Victorian England. Critical Reception Contemporary critical acclaim evaded Browning for many years. Gertrude Reese Hudson observes that the poet's critics required regular and frequent exposure to his unique dramatic method in order to recognize the excellence of Browning's art.
Hudson also notes that other factors contributed to Browning's winning over of his critics, including their changing opinion regarding the nature of poetry, as well as a growing appreciation for both the timeliness of Browning's writing, his intellect and originality, and the "totality of his achievement.
John Woolford and Daniel Karlin demonstrate that in using the dramatic monologue format, Browning was primarily interested in the creation and development of dramatic speakers and dramatic situations.
The two critics also analyze Browning's style, finding that his poetry, in its focus on the speaker, insists on being read aloud.
Woolford and Karlin further argue that Browning develops two distinct voices in his poetry, voices Browning himself described as "saying" and "singing" voices and which the critics contend result from the influence of the Romantics on Browning's work.
In a separate essay, Daniel Karlin examines Browning's use of binary oppositions, finding that "every Browning poem is oppositional in nature. Other critics review certain volumes of Browning's poetry as a whole, arguing that the individual poems support a larger theme or purpose.
Ryals studies Browning's Dramatic Romances and Lyrics with this in mind. Ryals stresses that the theme of loyalty unites the poems in this volume, and that this theme is often expressed in an ironic manner.
Furthermore, Ryals argues that while the majority of the poems may concern national loyalties, the poems also explore other kinds of loyalties, including loyalty to one's self, to one's religion, and to one's beloved. Similarly, Adam Roberts argues for the unity of the poems in Browning's Men and Womenasserting that the volume demonstrates Browning's first successful attempt at balancing the subjective and objective impulses in his poetry.
This synthesis is achieved, Roberts argues, through Browning's characterization.Poetry Essay That Analyzes "My Last Dutches" By Robert Browning My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Written in by Robert Browning, My Last Duchess" is a poem in the style of a dramatic monologue from the point of view of.
The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Essay - The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Consider the range of characterisation in Browning’s dramatic monologues and the poetic methods he employs to portray his speakers. Robert Browning is said to have perfected the Dramatic Monologue, with poems such as My Last Duchess, and Soliloquy of a Spanish Cloister.
As its name states, it is a monologue, hence it is a speech uttered by a single person. [In the following essay, Woolford and Karlin study Browning's use of the genre of dramatic monologue as well as elements of the poet's style. The critics argue that Browning's primary concern in.
A dramatic monologue is defined as a poem in which a single character is speaking to a person or persons- usually about an important topic. The purpose of most dramatic monologues is to provide the reader with an overall or intimate view of the character s personality.
The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Essay Words 9 Pages The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Consider the range of characterisation in Browning’s dramatic monologues and the poetic methods he employs to portray his speakers.