Robert Browning's Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came Essay

Robert Browning's Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came Essay

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Robert Browning's Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came 


Robert Browning's "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" is a poem about torture. Whether Roland is actually in Hell or just trapped in the madness of his mind, his own failure and the way in which he wasted his life will continue to torment him for all eternity. The imagery throughout the poem displays a completely despairing attitude, and several bitter ironies which he cannot escape plague him during his quest.

The title "Childe" implies an untested knight, but Roland is already jaded at the beginning of the poem. Reliving his failure, Roland has no reason to have any positive thoughts. Everything he sees is negative and ugly. The grass "[grows] as scant as hair in leprosy," and the oak tree is "gaping at death." The way in which he views Nature is almost Puritanical. It speaks to him peevishly, saying that it is waiting for Judgment Day. To him, the land is sparse and dead because it is being punished, just as he is. Even the river seems to have a life of its own when he describes it. First he ascertains that the...

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