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Robert Browning and his poetry - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Robert Browning Short Biography Robert Browning had a mostly informal education. He did attend the University of London but only for a brief period. In his early life, he was educated mainly by a tutor. In addition to speaking English, he could also speak fluent Latin, Italian, French, and Greek by the time he was fourteen (New World)…
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Robert Browning and his poetry
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Download file to see previous pages It would appear that Browning was greatly influenced by this review because after Mill’s criticism, he rarely wrote about his own emotions or used a subjective tone in his poetry. As a teenager, Browning was greatly influenced by the poet Percy Shelley. His earliest poetry efforts reflected Shelley’s views and style. Shelley’s writings inspired Browning to be an atheist for a short amount of time. Later he would say that his short-lived atheism was just a phase that he passed through in his life. His first published poem, entitled “Pauline: A Fragment of Confession” was thought to be inspired by a religious music composer named Eliza Flower. (Liukkonen). In 1969, he wrote what is known as his greatest poem, “The Ring and the Book,” which was a tribute to his wife Elizabeth who had passed away eight years before. Browning’s first critical praise came after he published “Paracelsus” in 1835. William Wordsworth and other distinguished writers praised the poem and thought him a very promising young poet. For the next 30 years, however, a majority of his works were harshly criticized until the late 1860s when he wrote the much praised “The Ring and the Book.” Later, in 1873, he wrote “Red Cotton Night – Cap Country.” The Examiner called the work “the most useful of all the good poems that he has written” (Johnson). Browning’s Work as a Whole Overall, Browning’s poetry could accurately be described as narrative and dramatic. More specifically, his major works are best described as dramatic monologues. A dramatic monologue features a single character narration. The monologue style allows for the audience to judge the narrator’s worth and the value of what he is saying. Also, the narrator is not generally speaking to the audience in this type of poem but merely musing to themselves. In general, Browning’s poetry is difficult to read and understand and, as Encyclopedia Brittanica states, “certain [Browning] poems require a considerable acquaintance with their subjects in order to be understood” (Brittanica). As mentioned earlier, Browning departed from the self-conscious tone of his first poem and adopted the narrative structure. He is often known for giving the poem’s audience an unanticipated point of view. He also frequently uses irony in his poems and is able to shift the focus of his poems as well. Many Christian themes and sentiments can also be observed in Browning’s work. His poetry also reflects his changing religious views throughout his life. He frequently deals with the topics of love, faith, and death. Also, his works occasionally reveal his uncertainty and skepticism about religion (Johnson). However, by today’s standards they are viewed as quite optimistic as well as spiritual. The rhythm of Browning’s poetry is mostly irregular. He employed a wide variety of metrical forms in his writing. He was able to create very interesting rhythms and melodies by using these varied metrical forms and rhythms. A good illustration of this technique can be observed by reading the following extract from Browning’s poem Abt Vogler: And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge down to hell, Burrow awhile and build, broad on the roots of things, Then up again swim into sight, having based me my palace well, Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs. Browning also wrote ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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