Time and Sequence in Robert Browning Poems

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  • Time and Sequence in Robert Browning's Poems
    • The Patriot
      • The narrative is a retrospective
        • "The church spires flamed."
        • "It was I who leaped the sun."
        • The Patriot is recounting what happened last year.
      • The poem is arranged into six parts, like chapters in a story
        • "III"
        • "VI"
      • The end of the story is in present tense - we reach the end of the story and his life
        • "I go in the rain."
        • "Thus I go!"
    • My Last Duchess
      • The story is a retrospective; the Duke is telling someone about his late wife
        • "I gave commands."
        • "She had a heart - how shall I say? - too soon made glad."
      • The end of the poem is in present tense, as the Duke seeks another wife.
        • "Will't please you rise?"
        • "Nay, we'll go together down, sir."
    • The Pied Piper of Hamelin
      • The story is told by an omniscient narrator
        • "Hamelin Town's in Brunswick."
        • "So Willy...when we've promised them aught, let us keep out promise!"
    • Porphyria's Lover
      • The story is a retrospective - a dramatic monologue.
        • "I debated what to do"
        • "And strangled her."
      • At the end of the poem the narrative skips to present tense, and we see the narrator is still with his dead lover! Scary!
        • "We sit together now."
        • "Her head, which droops upon [his shoulder] still."
    • Fra Lippo Lippi
      • The story is a retrospective - a dramatic monologue.
        • "I drew men's faces on my copy books."
        • "I painted all."
    • The Laboratory
      • The story is told in present tense - the narrator is buying poison right now.
        • "You call it a gum?"
        • "Grind away."


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