Poetry Of Robert Browning

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Robert Browning used his poetry as a way of self-determination as many of the ideas expressed in his poems go against the current of the Victorian era. His poetry should be included in the texts list for the HSC because they not only offer examples of classic poetry but also provide insights into the 19th century English society in terms of behaviour, gender roles and religion. Three poems that are fine examples of this are "Porphyria's Lover", "My Last Duchess" and "The Laboratory." "Porphyria's lover" presents a man who is so restricted by his society's traditions and mores that he is driven to murder and sees it as a just action. "My Last Duchess" introduces a Duke who becomes consumed by his need to feel superior and in complete control, which also leads him to murder. "The Laboratory" concerns a woman driven by jealousy, defying all morals to achieve her own wants. Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess and The Laboratory are all excellent examples of Browning's use of the dramatic monologue. This is a style of poem in which the narrator unwittingly reveals a dark secret or action of theirs whilst attempting to rationalise their actions to the audience and or their listener in the poem. The dramatic monologue allows the reader to enter the character's psyche and develop a deep understanding of their mindset. The poems are more about the state of mind of the speaker rather than the act they have, or plan to, commit. Nineteenth century England was a time of gender inequality. Women were seen as inferior to males and, as evidenced in "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess", objects of desire. Browning seems to comment negatively on this view of women, as the crimes against them and those who committed them in these 2 poems ... ... middle of paper ... ...urch using the negative words "drear, empty church." This line shows the reader she has no faith in the authority of the Victorian church and that she finds no solace in it. She finds her justice in self-determination, using her own methods. The speaker dismisses the church. Also, her taking the matter of killing and death into her own hands and giving herself that right is her taking on a God-like role. "Let death be felt and the proof remain…" she seeks the power that only God possess. Like in "Porphyria's Lover", Browning seems to be expressing his own disbelief in the church in "The Laboratory." Browning expressed his own thoughts on the paradigms of the Victorian era through "Porphyria's Lover", "My Last Duchess" and "The Laboratory" making them extremely valuable and insightful poems. All three texts have much to offer and thus must be included for HSC study.

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