By Warwick E. Slinn
This ebook goals to provide an explanation for what Browning intended by means of 'action in character.' Slinn sees Browning as a mental dramatist utilizing the poetic style. His problem is with dramatic monologue, which just about constantly makes a speciality of conflicts of id. Browning's characters, in response to Slinn, needs to stroll a tightrope among the distracting lives of others which threaten to fragment the individual's adventure at the one hand, and regulated solipsism at the different.
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Extra resources for Browning and the Fictions of Identity
The result is a fluctuating tone and a severe sense of conflict between the need to understand and direct emotional reaction. Indeed, one of the elements in the drama is her struggle to attain composure: 'I will be quiet and talk with you', she says to her husband (section IV). '. ') and a bitter Browning and the Fictions of Identity awareness of the irciny for man that 'all he'd sink to save' is washed away by time. In this she is able both to express the 'sting' of change and to detach herself from it through being conscious of its ironies.
The contrivances of language are largely suggested in these two poems by elements of tone and manner of speech, in the way the Duke represents his actions or Agricola represents his relationship with God. Sometimes, however, the artifice of the dramatisation is indicated by emotional expressions which reveal a different level of responsiveness, such as occur in 'Pictor Ignotus'. The speaker in this poem, the unknown painter, is caught in the act of defending his adherence to conventional styles of art.
8-10). At this point he believes her to be a realisation of his aesthetic ideal; therefore to become absorbed in her form is to define himself through being linked with the illusion. When he discovers the reality about her, that the ideal is tainted, the affront to his dignity calls for revenge, until Pippa's song raises a new possibility. Phene's soul is unformed. Having created in marble, he now sees an opportunity to create in flesh, and the aesthetic quest for ideal beauty is transformed into the even more ambitious quest to mould a personality.