Robert Browning (All Poems) Narratology Points

This rescource goes over narratolgical points for:

  • My Last Duchess
  • Porphyria's Lover
  • Fra Lippo Lippi
  • The Laboratory
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • The Patriot
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  • Created by: LaurynGS
  • Created on: 02-04-16 10:57
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  • Robert Browning = Narratology
    • The Laboratory
      • A female antagonist is planning the murder of her rival in front of her desired lover out of jealousy for her better appearance.
        • VOICE = Tone is biased and controlling, Yet when the poison is made she become extremely happy and excitable about the killing (possibly psychopathic in nature), We only hear the killer's voice in the poem (suggests that revenge is only up to her and the reader has nobody else to believe or listen to).
        • TIME = Poem begins late to there the killer is watching the alchemist make the poison, Each ingredients added in chronological order.
        • FORM = Dramatic monologue in 1st Person, 12 numbered stanzas to maybe imitate a recipe, AABB Rhyme scheme in anapaestic meter.
        • SETTING = An alchemist's laboratory(highlights claustrophobic settings, Unnatural and threatening with the motive the narrator has.)
    • The Pied Piper of Hamelin
      • The town of Hamelin is plagued by rats and the townsfolk have no solution. Until a mysterious Piper appears and solves the issue for a fee. When he is denied payment by the Mayor he takes away the town's children in the same manner as he did the rats and they never return.
        • VOICE = 3rd Person from a reflective narrator, Narrator is limited as he does not know where the Piper went after Hamelin, 4 Voices (The Mayor's, the Piper's, a Rat's and a Lame Child's).
        • FORM = Rhyming iambic pentameter, 'A Child's Story's highlighted by Browning's use of language and fairy tale form of poem.
        • TIME = Remarked by the narrator  that the story is set '500 Years Ago' in his time period, Events in the poem follow chronologically like a fairy tale.
        • SETTING = Hamelin, a small German town, Introduces us to an exotic place - Browning uses the Piper to introduce these settings through his visits to 'Asia', freeing 'the Cham' in Tartary, and being asked to assist the 'Caliph' in Baghdad. (The Piper can be seen as the mythical 'wandering Jew'.
    • Porphyria's Lover
      • An unnamed male lover waits for the arrival of his higher classed lover. When she arrives they sit together and he strangles her with own 'yellow hair' so he can possess her forever.
        • VOICE = 1st Person narration from the lover's perspective, Tone is of a madman (Browning uses violent, turbulent language to evoke his deranged mental state), Line 33 - 'Porphyria worshipped me' use of free indirect style of narration and shows the silenced voice of Porphyria.
        • FORM = ABABB Rhyme scheme (asymmetrical and unbalanced to reflect the obsessive mental state of the lover, Ambiguous ending through 'An yet God has not said a word!' statement of victory to justify his actions.
        • TIME = Poem starts at the near climax of the narrative (uninterested in what happened before), Poem concludes in the present tense to show that the event took place in one day, Poem begins retrospectively through 'early tonight' and the subsequent arrival of Porphyria.
        • SETTING = Poem takes place in a cottage, Browning is deliberately vague about time and setting so the reader focuses on the lover's madness, Pathetic fallacy is used to foreshadow the death of Porphyria 'tore the elm tops down for spite'.
    • My Last Duchess
      • The Duke of Ferrara is negotiating a new marriage with an emissary and tells him about his last Duchess.
        • VOICE =  The Duke is a confident and arrogant speaker but is ambiguous; 'That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,' The Duke talks of control but his outburst in lines 31 - 32 establish fragmented syntax to highlight his frustration.
        • FORM = Dramatic monologue, Rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter to give a sense of the Duke's controlling nature, Enjambment used to stop the intended listen form interrupting.
        • TIME = Renaissance Italy because of the mention of the artist 'Fra Pandolf' painting 'a spot of joy' on the Duchesses cheek.
        • SETTING = Renaissance Italy, Italian town of Ferrara, The story is told privately which hints at almost being claustrophobic and manic
    • The Patriot
      • An unnamed Patriot is sent to the gallows and reflects on his triumphant return; a year before his upcoming death in the present.
        • VOICE = 1st Person, The story is told through the Patriot's own voice and personal experiences.
        • FORM = Regular 5 line stanzas, Iambic pentameter, ABABA Rhyme scheme.
        • SETTING = An unnamed city (sets a parallel between the city and patriot), Poem shifts in setting (1st Half = The city with its 'roofs' and 'spires', 2nd Half = The gallows with its 'shambles gate' and 'scaffold').
        • TIME = Narrative is told retrospectively by looking back "a year ago", No set time period that the poem is set in, Poem is divided into two parts (1st Half = The Patriot is looking at his return a year ago, 2nd Half = The Patriot brings the reader to the present to see his death).
    • Fra Lippo Lippi
      • An Italian monk is caught leaving a brothel by some guards and is asked to give an account on why. He replies with an account of his entire life and career as an artist.
        • VOICE =  Fra Lippo is a charismatic, bold narrator with the opening sentence being his introduction, Tone is restless and shifts from thought to thought (suggests drunkenness), Honest and subjective, Ventriloquised voices of other characters and  fragmented speech creates a sense of lively drama to bring out conflicts, triumphs and disasters of Lippi's life.
        • FORM = Dramatic monologue from Fra Lippo's perspective, Written by Browning in blank verse, Non-Rhymed iambic pentameter, The length of the poem is used to show the insanity of Lippi.
        • TIME = Renaissance Italy in the 15th Century, Linear chronology to show Lippi's first artistic triumph and defeat to evoke the first climax of the narrative.
        • SETTING = Different settings throughout the poem (Beginning is the brothel, Lines 130 - 190 is the Church).

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