Soliloquies - Role of Speaker in Browning's Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister

Soliloquies - Role of Speaker in Browning's Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister

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Role of Speaker in Browning's Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister    

The speaker in any poem is significant because he enables the reader to aquire information necessary in order to enter the imaginary world of the work.  In Browning's Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, the solitary speaker, who is a monk overwhelmed with hatred toward a fellow monk, plays an important role as the guide in the world of the poem.  The diction, structure, and tone of the entire poem communicate the speaker's motives, perceptions, emotions, and behavior.

The narrator in Browning's poem proves that the speaker is not always a reliable guide because his thoughts reflect anger and hatred instead of giving the reader an unbiased view of Brother Lawrence.  His speech is motivated by hatred so intense that it could kill his "heart's abhorrence" and in line 8, he wishes that "hell would dry [Brother Lawrence] up with its flames."  The speaker is overcome with emotion, wishing death upon his fellow monk.  His emotions interfere with the reader's perception of the o...

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