Saturday, May 29, 2021

ROBERT BROWNING POEMS


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Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins: Summary and Analysis

Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins is a modern poem about philosophical definition of human life. It is a dramatic meditative poem since it narrates an event, imagining a philosopher as a speaker in conversation to a girl name Margaret. We find character, dialogue, and setting and plot as well in the poem. The poem is about the reality of human existence that has been well introduced through its title 'Spring and Fall'.


Gerard M. Hopkins (1844-1889n the poem, the speaker addresses to a girl, Margaret, who is crying at the fall of tree leaves. As a philosopher, speaker asks Margaret not to grieve over goldengrove unleaving. The speaker believes that the young girl, Margaret equally cares for leaves like the things of man. In her innocence, with fresh thoughts, she worries for the falling leaves. Margaret as an innocent child, separation is a great loss for her. She doesn't know the meaning of death. A child is out of knowledge of death, end, destruction, and collapse. 

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The speaker in the poem behaves as a philosopher. He is trying to persuade Margaret not to weep, not to mourn, and not to spare sigh, when goldengroove is unleaving. For the experienced person, "goldengrove unleaving" is a minor natural process. There is nothing to worry and lament over it. When the human heart grows older, so many pains come and go away. For a young heart, it is intolerable to tolerate separation and loss. The speaker of the poem has tried to read the mentality of a young child. Very plainly, he says that it is all because of Margaret's childhood. Still Margaret is not fully developed human being. She is left to cross many hurdles and obstacles in her life. Thus Margaret is as spring. As she grows, she will take a journey towards fall. Then, only she will realize the absolute truth of the human world and the meaning of fall.

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Moving a step ahead, the speaker argues that as the heart grows older; such sorrows come and go away. Though the narrator's tone towards the child is tender and sympathetic, he does not try to comfort her. The philosophical argumentations are beyond the understanding of the young girl. The child is emotional and ignorant regarding this loss, whereas the speaker is poetical, philosophical, and generalizing something of a natural process which is really tough and vague to understand by an innocent girl. The speaker is matured, but his technique of addressing to the child is colder. He asks many questions to her, but when gets no result, then assumes answers and moves further. 

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In real sense when the child grows she can take a journey towards fall or left to cross many hurdles and obstacles in her life then only she can realize the absolute truth of the human world. The speaker is unlike a teacher as he does not care for age and level of knowledge of the child. In the poem, we find the contrast between innocence and experienced. The speaker represents the experience, whereas the child represents the innocence.  Margaret has fresh thoughts and such thoughts are indifferent to the idea of death and destruction. Similarly, the speaker represents fall and the child represents the spring.

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DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE:A DETAILED INFORMATION

Dramatic Monologue

Definition of Dramatic Monologue

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Dramatic monologue means self-conversation, speech or talks which includes interlocutor presented dramatically. It means a person, who is speaking to himself or someone else speaks to reveal specific intentions of his actions. However, in literature, it is a poetic form or a poem that presents the speech or conversation of a person in a dramatic manner.

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Features of a Dramatic Monologue

A dramatic monologue has these common features in them.

  1. A single person delivering a speech on one aspect of his life
  2. The audience may or may not be present
  3. Speaker reveals his temperament and character only through his speech

Types of Dramatic Monologue

There are three major types of dramatic monologues such as:

  1. Romantic monologue
  2. Philosophical and psychological monologue
  3. Conversational monologue
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Dramatic Monologue Examples from Literature

Example #1

My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning

“That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,

Looking as if she were alive. I call

That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf’s hands

Worked busily a day, and there she stands.

Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said

“Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read

Strangers like you that pictured countenance,

The depth and passion of its earnest glance,

But to myself they turned (since none puts by

The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)

And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,

How such a glance came there; so, not the first

Are you to turn and ask thus.”

This extract is from the famous monologue of a duke. He tells his audience, possibly the father of his new bride, about his last duchess who could not survive his severity. It is a type of psychological monologue which tells the psychological state of mind of the speaker


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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot

 “Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument.

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question …

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go and make our visit.”

This extract is from the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot, a famous and popular modern poet. He has highlighted the thoughts of a modern young man who is madly in love but still hesitates from expressing it. Therefore, he faces an existential dilemma The poem highlights his psychological state of mind through this contemporary monologue. This extract highlights this dilemma of hesitation in the very first line and then is repeated in the last line.

 Example #3

Lady Lazarus  by Sylvia Plath

 I have done it again.

One year in every ten

I manage it—

A sort of walking miracle, my skin

Bright as a Nazi lampshade,

My right foot.

A paperweight,

My face a featureless, fine

Jew linen.

This extract is from the famous monologue of Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus.” It also highlights her psychological state of mind about her act of committing suicide and subsequent failure. She has likened this act to the Holocaust to create her own powerful monologue.

Example #4

Dover Beach By Matthew Arnold

“The sea is calm tonight.

The tide is full, the moon lies fair

Upon the straits; on the French coast the light

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.

Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!”

“Dover Beach” is another example of such an autobiographical monologue of Matthew Arnold. He has highlighted his own situation and his reaction over the sorrow that he is experiencing. This monologue expressed his thoughts about his bride when they were on honeymoon on the same breach. He recalls the past and writes about the sea again.

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Example #5

 “Hawk’s Monologue” by Ted Hughes

 “I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.

The convenience of the high trees.
The air’s buoyancy and the sun’s ray
Are of advantage to me;
And the earth’s face upward for my inspection.”

These are the first two stanzas of the famous monologue of Ted Hughes. This poem presents a hawk perching high on a tree, thinking about his power and dreams. It presents a psychological state of mind of personified megalomaniac bird how he thinks when he holds power over the lives of other weak birds. This dramatic monologue is an example of how powerful people think when they have control over others.

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Dramatic Monologue Meaning and Function

A monologue functions as a tool to give vent to one’s thoughts. It provides an opportunity for the poets to use powerful words spoken through their characters. So, the characters can express themselves or their ideas without an obstacle or hindrance. A dramatic monologue is also a convenient device to present different characters and their inner thoughts through verses.



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