The Difficulty of Remembering Robert Browning

The Difficulty of Remembering Robert Browning

Length: 1093 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Difficulty of Remembering Robert Browning

 
    It is no great revelation that people primarily either want to be remembered or

forgotten, they either want to be noticed or they want to disappear. And it's

this binary that celebrities seem to struggle with all the time; constantly

wanting to be in the spotlight and all the fame and glory that goes along with

it. But once their integrity is compromised, they run and hide and declare their

lives to be personal, out of view of the public eye. No one seems to contradict

this binary of fame / seclusion more than poet Robert Browning. Although he

wanted to be known and remembered, every conscious decision he made within his

career seems to have prevented this.

 

Born in 1812, Robert Browning led a shielded suburban life, in the south of

France (Damrosch, 1305). Both his parents were supportive and encouraging of his

interests especially when, at the age of 14, he expressed an interest in poetry

(Damrosch, 1305).  The poet that sparked Browning's interest in poetry was none

other than Percy Bysshe Shelley. P.B. Shelley's poetry affected Browning greatly

and even though Browning wasn't writing poetry yet at this time, Shelley was

influencing him in other ways (Damrosch, 1305). Percy Shelley was a poet widely

known for his radical ideas and beliefs; it was this recognition that most

attracted Browning. Robert Browning's path to being a poet was not direct. It

was because of Shelley that Browning found this path, but it would be years

before he would begin writing (Damrosch, 1305). Browning tried many other career

paths before publishing his first poem, among them art, music, law and business

(Damrosch, 1305). He published his first poem anonymously at the age of 21

(Damrosch, 1305). It was titled Pauline and was poorly received (Damrosch,

1305). Publishing his first poem anonymously goes against Browning's desire to

be well known. Over the next ten years, Browning published various plays and

poems that were as poorly received as his first poem (Damrosch, 1305). But it

was in 1842 that Browning would get much deserved recognition for his work

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Difficulty of Remembering Robert Browning." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Jun 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=18489>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay about My Last Duchess By Robert Browning

- His Last Duchess Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess is a dramatic monologue narrated by the Duke of Ferrara Even a passing gaze to this poem would paint a picture of a selfish prick of a husband and a wife whose mere fault was naivete, someone who was merely appreciative of the beauty around her, a quality that bugged her husband to the point where he accuses her of being unfaithful and gets her killed. The narrator of the poem indicates an arrogance embedded so deep in a bold sense of male superiority....   [tags: Robert Browning, My Last Duchess]

Research Papers
1004 words (2.9 pages)

My Last Duchess By Robert Browning Essay

- Robert A. Heinlein said, “A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” told from the perspective of the Duke in the form of a dramatic monolog. It showcases the Duke conversing with the Count’s representative about a hopeful marriage to the Count’s daughter as well as recalling his late wife. The Duke uses the opportunity to express his jealousy towards the Duchess. In “My Last Duchess,” a poem by Robert Browning, the Duke expresses the theme of jealousy to hide his inner struggle of insecurity....   [tags: My Last Duchess, Robert Browning]

Research Papers
965 words (2.8 pages)

My Last Duchess By Robert Browning Essay

- My Last Duchess Robert Browning, a British poet, who was fascinated with poems at a young age. Most of Browning teaches came from his father, he was already proficient in reading and writing by the age of five. Browning was fluent in Spanish, Greek and French. He began writing poems after he dropped out of college, most of his work had dramatic monologue- especially the use of diction, rhymes, and symbols. In 1842 he published “ My Last Duchess” The speaker in the poem is believed to be Alfonso Il d’Este (1533-1598) who married fourteen year old Lucrezia di Cosimo de Medici at the age twenty five....   [tags: My Last Duchess, Robert Browning, Marriage]

Research Papers
726 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Poetry Of Robert Browning

- 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....   [tags: Robert Browning]

Research Papers
1713 words (4.9 pages)

My Last Duchess and Porphyrias Lover by Robert Browning Essay

- Robert Browning wrote the two poems, "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover." Both poems convey an thoughtful, examination profound commentary about the concept of love. communicates two interpretations concerning Both poems describe the behavior of people who are in loving, romantic relationships. There are several aspects common in both poems. Using the literary technique of dramatic dialogue, the author reveals the plot and central idea of each poem. Robert Browning tells each poetic story through a single speaker....   [tags: Robert Browning]

Research Papers
1244 words (3.6 pages)

Analysis of Two In The Campagna by Robert Browning Essay

- Analysis of "Two In The Campagna" by Robert Browning "Two In The Campagna" is essentially a love poem, written by Browning to capture the tragic and dark aspects of a relationship. The poem commences with romantic images of the couple sitting in the fields of Rome in spring. The first line, starting with 'I wonder' sets the contemplative tone of the piece, and the poet follows one particular trail of thought for several stanzas. Clearly, the poet is trying to capture what cannot be easily confined; he is attempting to articulate a sentiment of fleeting love that perhaps can only be felt....   [tags: Robert Browning Poets Poems Essays]

Research Papers
1438 words (4.1 pages)

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Essay

- My Last Duchess by Robert Browning In his poem “My Last Duchess”, Robert Browning gives his readers a complex picture of his two main characters. The Duke, who narrates the poem, is the most immediately present but Browning sets him up to ultimately lose the reader’s trust. The Duchess becomes the sympathetic character, a victim of foul play. It is through the various representations of the Duchess within the poem that we come to know both characters. The representations of the Duchess, which focus on her ever-present smile and easily satisfied nature, come in sharp contrast with the desperate, sputtering language of the Duke as he tries to tell their story on his own terms....   [tags: Last Duchess Robert Browning Essays]

Research Papers
2288 words (6.5 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)

Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Essay

- Compare the two poems ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ by Robert Browning. What do they reveal about attitudes to women and relationships in the nineteenth century. Robert Browning was one of the greatest poets of the nineteenth century. In 1842, he published ‘Dramatic Lyrics’ which included the two poems ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’. In ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ Browning gives the reader a dramatic insight into the twisted mind of an abnormally possessive lover, who wishes the moment of love to last forever....   [tags: Robert Browning, Porphyrias Lover]

Research Papers
2228 words (6.4 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]

Research Papers
1434 words (4.1 pages)

Related Searches


Dramatic Lyrics. In Dramatic Lyrics, Browning, Browning developed his style of

dramatic monologues (Damrosch, 1305). Among these dramatic monologues was The

Pied Piper of Hamelin, well known among children (Douglas, 32). The dramatic

monologue is a form that also goes against Browning's quest for fame, as

Browning's ideas and beliefs get transferred onto those of the character in the

poem. One does not hear how Browning feels, but only the characters revealing

themselves in the poem. And then when commenting on this, an opportunity to

proclaim his genius, Browning humbly states that his poems are merely

"utterances of so many imaginary characters, not mine (Damrosch, 1306.)."

 

            Robert Browning would once again have a chance for popularity when

he began a love affair with poet Elizabeth Barrett. They eloped in 1846 and

moved to Italy to escape Barrett's controlling father (Douglas, 33). While

Browning loved Elizabeth very much, he was uncomfortable with being overshadowed

by her success and hardly produced any poetry during their relationship

(Damrosch, 1306). Despite Browning's lack of creative output, this period

includes some of his best work. When Elizabeth Barrett Browning died

unexpectedly in 1861, Robert Browning declared he would devote the remainder of

his life to her influence (Damrosch, 1307). He began in 1868 with the verse

novel The Ring and The Book (Damrosch, 1307). This finally gave Browning the

popularity he both deserved and craved. Now called one of the era's leading

poets, his popularity increased in the United States, with Browning Societies

sprouting up to discuss his work (Damrosch, 1306.). Included in his fan base was

author Mark Twain. In 1889, he died the same day his final book was to be

published, Asolando (Damrosch, 1307).

 

            While most of his poetry is in the form of dramatic monologue from

the wide array of characters in the mind of Robert Browning, rarely Browning's

own thoughts and experiences do make it to the page. One of these poems is

"Memorabilia". Perhaps most important in his life, was his deep admiration of

poet P. B. Shelley and that is nowhere more evident than in this poem. Robert

Browning's poem "Memorabilia" is not only a rare example of Browning's personal

life being represented in his poetry, but also an example of memorabilia itself.

 

            In Memorabilia, Browning recounts an encounter with a stranger who

had known P.B. Shelley.  Browning says in a footnote reprinted on page 1320 of

the Longman Anthology:

 

I was one day in the bookshop of Hodgson, the well-known London bookseller, when

a stranger came in, who, in the course of conversation with the bookseller spoke

of something that Shelley had once said to him. Suddenly, the stranger paused,

and burst into laughter as he observed me staring at him with blanched face;

and...I still vividly remember how strangely the presence of a man who had seen

and spoken with Shelley affected me. (Damrosch, 1320)

 

 

Browning's captivation with this man who knew Shelley is evident throughout the

poem. The poem begins with Browning asking the man a series of questions,

desperately wanting to get to the heart of the relationship this man had with

Percy Shelley. He comments on this situation in line 4: "How strange this seems

and new!"(Damrosch, 1320). In line 5, Browning begins to reveal his thoughts on

meeting a in the flesh-and-blood person who has met Shelley and there is

evidence that at one point Browning may have lost his composure: "My starting

moves your laughter" (8).

 

            Browning's poem "Memorabilia" is an ode to Shelley, because Shelley

is the inspiration for his life's work. But as implied by the title of this

poem, it is also an ode to being remembered, another one of Browning's

fascinations.

 

            To conclude, Robert Browning spent his life disappearing in an

attempt to be remembered. He published anonymously, produced dramatic

monologues, and married someone more famous than him. Even in his poem,

"Memorabilia" instead of remembering Browning, we are remembering P.B. Shelley.

Browning would later in his career get the recognition he deserved but he would

still have trouble being remembered. Throughout the course of writing this

paper, a number of times I forgot I was writing about Browning but instead

thought I was writing about Shelley.

 

Works Cited

 

Browning, Robert.  "Memorabilia" in The Longman Anthology British Literature

Volume 2 2nd Edition Damrosch, David (Ed.). New York: Longman, 2003.

 

Douglas, James. Robert Browning. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1903.

 

Dowden, Edward. Robert Browning. London: J.M. Dent and Co. 1904.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com