The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Essay

The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Essay

Length: 2236 words (6.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. Some are written in rhyming verse, use metaphors, et cetera, but for what reason? What is the writer trying to achieve and how successful is he?

Robert Browning (1812-1889) was an English poet noted for his mastery of dramatic monologue. He was born in London, the son of a wealthy clerk at the bank of England, he received scant formal education but had access to his father’s large library of about 6,000 volumes. Though initially unsuccessful as a poet and financially dependent on his family until well into adulthood Browning was to become a celebrated Victorian poet. In some of his finest works people from the past speak their thoughts and reveal their lives to the reader through the ……?

The poems I will be taking into account will be:
‘Porphyria’s Lover’ from Dramatic Lyrics, 1842
‘The Laboratory’, 1844
‘My last Duchess’, from Dramatic Lyrics, 1842
‘Andrea del Sarto’ from Men and Women, 1855
‘Fra Lippo Lippi’ from Men and Women, 1855

All these poems are presented from the viewpoint of an individual explaining their actions. The speakers all consider their actions justified, though only Fra Lippo Lippi has reason to explain himself to anyone.

These poems use different poetic methods to form the character of the speaker. The rhyme schemes vary from obvious, as in the rhyming couplets of ‘The Laboratory’, to subtle, as in ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ to an absence of a rhyme scheme as in the blank verse of ‘Andrea del Sarto’. Also there are many uses of alliteration, assonance, enjambment and onomatopoeic words to draw our att...


... middle of paper ...


... beauty’
though Andrea is presumably referring to her curves and suppleness of youth the serpent is also widely recognised as a manipulative and deceitful. A true master of the arts would be expected to have a better imagination and grasp of imagery. This poem also particularly demonstrates Browning’s mastery of dramatic monologues as he has written in blank verse and written in the tone of a dull and lifeless man but still creates a deep dramatic monologue that reveals a lot more through it’s poetic methods employed in it than the speaker actually tells us. The way such different portrayals are formed of each character show us how successful Browning has been in using different poetic methods to convey each characterisation as a lot can be established simply from the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the poem and other poetic methods used before even analysing the speaker.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparing Robert Browning's Dramatic Monologues My Last Duchess and The Laboratory

- Comparing Robert Browning's Dramatic Monologues My Last Duchess and The Laboratory Robert Browning was a Victorian poet who lived from 1812-1889. He mainly wrote dramatic monologues, this means you must have a speaker and a listener. Both "My Last Duchess" and "The Laboratory" were published in 1845. "My Last Duchess" was set in the Italian Renaissance and during that time to own large life size painting was a show of wealth. "My Last Duchess" was written in a time when women were to hold their husbands and everything that he did with the maximum respect and show little or no emotion towards anyone else....   [tags: Free Essays]

Free Essays
433 words (1.2 pages)

The Similarities and Differences in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover

- The Similarities and Differences in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover' are poems written by Robert Browning in the form of a dramatic monologue. They both contain themes of love, jealousy, contempt and obsession. In the beginning of 'My Last Duchess' the Duke is speaking about his wife's portrait to an envoy. In 'Porphyria's Lover' the Lover is speaking directly to the reader, conveying his thoughts, personifying the weather perhaps emphasizing his unhappiness ('the sullen wind soon awake') seeing as he had a 'heart fit to break'....   [tags: Robert Browning Dramatic Monologues Essays]

Powerful Essays
1140 words (3.3 pages)

A Comparison of the Dramatic Monologues of Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

- A Comparison of the Dramatic Monologues of Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Robert Browning (1812-89) was, with Alfred Lord Tennyson, one of the two most celebrated of Victorian poets. His father was a bank clerk, and Browning educated himself by reading in the family library. He published many verse dramas and dramatic monologues (poems, like My Last Duchess, in which a single character speaks to the reader), notably the collections Men and Women (1855) and Dramatis Personae (1864)....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
655 words (1.9 pages)

Robert Browning's Studies of Male Jealousy in the Dramatic Monologues Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess

- Robert Browning's Studies of Male Jealousy in the Dramatic Monologues Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess In this essay, I am going to discuss male jealousy in the dramatic monologues, 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. A Victorian poet, Robert Browning, wrote these two poems. They both are short poems which both are about a man conveying his love to a woman. These poems are dramatic monologues because there is only one speaker talking to someone or himself. During these dramatic monologues, the narrator explains his personal feelings, which he is maybe not realising that he is doing this....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1596 words (4.6 pages)

Jealousy in Three Dramatic Monologues by Browning Essay

- Jealousy in Three Dramatic Monologues by Browning The poems 'My Last Duchess', 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'The Laboratory' are three dramatic monologues, theatrical tales of bitter jealousy told by anonymous, murderous lovers. 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover' use the simple idea of cruel male domination to portray the narrator's jealousy, as these two men do not know any other way of controlling their seemingly flirtatious lovers' behaviour. They try to completely possess their women as objects, and such a need for power seems to be a pure statement of irrational jealousy....   [tags: Robert Browning Jealousy Poetry Essays]

Powerful Essays
1393 words (4 pages)

Essay Robert Browning and the Power of the Dramatic Monologue Form

- Robert Browning and the Power of the Dramatic Monologue Form The dramatic monologue form, widely used by Victorian poets, allows the writer to engage more directly with his reader by placing him in the role of listener. Robert Browning utilised the form to a famously profound effect, creating a startling aspect to his poetry. In poems such as “Porphyria’s Lover,” and “My Last Duchess,” for example, Browning induces a feeling of intimacy by presenting the reader as the ‘confidant’ to the narrator’s crimes; in “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister,” the reader is more a witness to the narrator’s increasing instability....   [tags: Poetry Robert Browning Dramatic Monologue]

Powerful Essays
1434 words (4.1 pages)

Robert Browning: The Man Who Perfected the Dramatic Monologue Essay

- Robert Browning was a very successful homegrown writer. Browning’s first work was published when he was only twenty-one years old. He wrote from 1833 till 1880 during the Victorian era. Porphyria’s Lover, My Last Duchess, and Sordello are just a few of his numerous pieces of award-winning work. There was one constant in many of his poems, dramatic monologues. Browning’s dramatic monologues are not about what the speaker says, but about what the character inadvertently implies (Sutton 289). What has made Browning’s dramatic monologues so impressive compared to other poets....   [tags: informative essay]

Powerful Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

Robert Browning And The Dramatic Monologue Essay

- 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....   [tags: Browning Poet Poem Analysis]

Free Essays
1366 words (3.9 pages)

Analysis of My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Essay

- A dramatic monologue is a poem in which a single speaker who is not the poet recites the entire poem at a critical moment. The speaker has a listener within the poem, but the reader of the poem is also one of the speakers listeners. In a dramatic monologue, the reader learns about the speaker's character from what the speaker says. Robert Browning is said to have perfected this form of writing. One of his most famous dramatic monologues is "My Last Duchess." The speaker in the poem is an Italian duke who ordered the murder of his wife and is at the offset of the poem showing off the portrait to his future son-in-law....   [tags: Robert Browning, My Last Duchess]

Free Essays
576 words (1.6 pages)

Robert Browning Poems: My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover Essay

- Robert Browning is one of the most celebrated poets of the Victorian age. His two poems I am working from, "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover", are just samples of his eminent work. Browning wrote a range of monologues when living in Italy with his wife, Elizabeth Barret. Dramatic monologues are the basis of the essay. I will discuss whether (or not) each poem "creates a character who reveals himself in what he has to say". My Last Duchess is a monologue spoken by the Duke....   [tags: Robert Browning, My Last Duchess]

Powerful Essays
3771 words (10.8 pages)