Robert Browning And The Dramatic Monologue

1366 Words6 Pages
Robert Browning and the Dramatic Monologue Controlling Purpose: to analyze selected works of Robert Browning. I. Brief overview of Browning A. Greatest Poet B. Family Life II. Brief overview of "My Last Duchess" A. Descriptive adjectives B. Cause for death C. Description of his wife III. Definition of Dramatic Monologue IV. Comments by Glenn Everett A. Point of View B. Tone C. Audience Imagination V. Comments by Terry Bohannon A. No Christianity B. Evil Characters Robert Browning and the Dramatic Monologue Robert Browning, one of the greatest poets of his literary period, was born on May 7, 1812, in Camberwell, London. He was the first child of Robert and Sarah Anna Browning ("Robert Browning's Bibliography" 1). His father was a clerk at the Bank of England and his mother was a zealous Evangelist. By 1846, Browning got married to Elizabeth Barrett. From this marriage his wife conceived a son, Robert Barrett-Browning. At about the same time, he began to discover that his real talents lay in taking a single character and allowing him to discover himself to us by revealing more of himself in his speeches than he suspects In doing so, he wrote a great dramatic monologue called "My Last Duchess" (Everett 1). Murder, mystery, and intrigue all describe Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess" (Oliver 1). From the speaker's meandering insinuation, the death of his wife in the reader's point of view may seem like a crime committed because of jealousy. In this monologue, the duke has attempted to justify himself, and to portray his wife as silly and ungrateful. But in fact he does the opposite, and the duchess is revealed as the innocent victim of the duke's outraged pride. There is also the suggestion that other suitors have mad a fool of the duke. But he cannot fully recognize that his wife might love another, and simply calls her "too easily impressed." By the end of his monologue, the duke is already hinting at his next conquest—the count's daughter ("My Last Duchess" 1). The style and structure of this poem play a significant role in the effect of the poem. The dramatic monologue fits this favorably because the speaker, who is the Duke of Ferrara, comes across as being very controlling, especially in conversation. Browning also exercises many techniques, including a simple rhyme scheme, enjambment, and caesura to convey various characteristics and qualities about the speaker and the situation. He uses an AA BB rhyme scheme, which is very common to ballads and songs. The enjambed lines indicate the control that the speaker is exerting on the conversation and give the feeling that the speaker is rushing through parts of the poem.
Open Document