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Write a note on Browning’s handling of the Dramatic Monologue
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DescriptionROBERT BROWNING'S DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE
QUESTION: Write a note on Browning’s handling of the Dramatic Monologue.
Or, Discuss Browning as a great writer of the Dramatic Monologues.
Robert Browning desired to be a dramatist who wrote eight dramas and all of them failed on the stage. Browning’s genius was contemplating than dramatic. Its main reason was that neither Browning was so mature for writing a drama nor was his audience. He could not succeed on the stage as he let loose the flood of introspection, reminiscence and analysis in the plays. Browning made a practical compromise and decided to write the drama of the soul – dramatic monologue. This drama is acted within the mind of the character. It is not projected on the stage of a theatre. So, Browning interiorized the drama.
Dramatic monologue is different from a drama and a soliloquy. It is a short narrative poem, spoken by a single character. He amplifies the theme of the narrative by his comments on his story and on the circumstances in which he is speaking. In drama, the action is external but in dramatic monologue, the action is internal and his soul is the stage. In a soliloquy, only one character speaks to himself and there is no interference of any other character but in a monologue, one character speaks his mind and the character is listening to him but he is not interfering in the action. Browning thought that this form of art could best relate the psycho - analysis of human heart.
Browning himself did not invent the Dramatic Monologue but he excelled in this form more than any other poet and made it especially his own. The defects that were the obstacles of his being a successful dramatist are not found in his dramatic monologues. Browning was the best and most successful in representing his poetic characteristics are clearly found in his dramatic monologues. Browning’s detailed settings of the dramatic monologues contributed effectively. Though the main character speaks, the stage was filled with fully rounded figures.
Browning’s art of characterisation is one of the most striking characteristics of his becoming successful dramatic monologues. Browning’s characters reveal themselves in their monologues and bring out the inner workings of their minds. The great literary critic Cazamian calls these monologues “studies in personal psychology” as they reveal a wide variety of characters and provide a scope to peep into life. Browning’s dramatic monologue deals with the subject of failure and he takes a character who has been failed in his life. He is caught up in crisis and now tells his story of crisis and bores out his soul before us. The last rider, Fra Lippo Lippi, Bishop at his death bed and Andrea are the typical example ...
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