Essay Instructions: Write a well-developed (3 pages) essay on
A) Compare the poems “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister” and “In Westminster Abbey.”
Focus on the Tones of the two poems. Is there comedy and irony mixed together with
something more dramatic? Who are the speakers of the poems? What attitudes do
they have toward their subjects? Quote details that reveal the true natures of these people.
1) Look for contradictions between what is normally expected of people in
these situations and the realities presented in the poems. For instance, an Abbey is
a place of strict rules, where excessive emotion, hatred, homicide, and deals with
the Devil are not encouraged.
2) Consider the time periods of these poems, which are quite different. We know that
the “Barbary corsairs” (Line 31) operated from about 1550 to 1816, so the first
poem, although it was written in 1842, has a sort of timeless quality. The second
poem was written in 1940, right in the middle of Hitler’s air attacks (the “blitz”)
on England. It must have generated a hostile response from some beleaguered
3) Pay attention to any footnotes or study question attached to these poems in the
Questions for "In Westminster Abbey" from textbook: Who is the speaker? What do we know about her lifestyle/her prejudices? Point out some of the places in which she contradicts herself.
From textbook: for "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister": Brother Lawrence: one of the speaker's fellow monks. 31 Barbary corsair: a pirate operating off the Barbary coast of Africa. Arian: a follower of Arius, heretic who denied the doctrine of the trinity.
If you use outside resources, you must
document them using MLA standards.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Please do a close-reading of Browning's "Pippa Passes," understand it very well, and write a coherent, error-free, thorough essay that has a strong thesis with an argument. Also, please give the essay a title when you are done. Please AVOID being repetative, summerizing, or quoting the work(s).
Please DO NOT use any outside references.
If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me directly at: THANK YOU!
Here is the essay topic and the specific requirements:
Considering issues of poetic presentation as well as content, discuss "Pippa Passes" as a forerunner of Browning's dramatic monologues. You should consider thematic issues, formal structure (e.g. beginnings, ends, and divisions into parts) and overall philosophical concerns in Browning's work (you may find somethings in my notes that I'm going add at the end of these instructions, but please do not rely solely on that as they don't have everything). You still have to read Brownings works and try to understand his style, form, themes, and philosophical concerns. Try to e to some overall sense of what Browning is trying to do or say in Pippa Passes, and refer to some specific monologues in your essay. But DO NOT paraphrase either them or "Pippa Passes" (assume your reader has plete familiarity with the texts); discuss only the specific parts of the works that are important to your argument. DO NOT QUOTE from any poems (including Pippa Passes) unless the specific wording of the quotation is crucial to your argument (and in that case, do not quote at length). No footnotes, please.
Length: 4 FULL double-spaced pages in 12 font, Times New Roman (no less, please).
Here are my notes for Brownings's poems that I have studied ( Please note that they are not thorough, and they don't have anything about Pippa Passes):
-Speaker, who lives alone, is unhappy about storm because it may prevent Porphyria from ing
-Line 15, “When in no voice replied”
-Polysyndeton keeps the events in one moment
-Even a person of the lower class might have a servant in Victorian England; the speaker has none. Porphyria came from a “gay feast” so she may be of higher class than the speaker. If she is single, ing would’ve been a dangerous thing to do. She, however, seems to be engaged, and putting herself in danger, but none that she expects. Her reputation is at stake, she must truly love him. She has “vainer ties” to other people that prevent her from fully giving herself to him, so it’s a one night stand. It is a tragedy she can’t marry the man she loves.
-She “made [the speaker’s] cheek lie” on her shoulder, a forward move in VE.
-“And yet God has not said a word” -the “yet” suggests the speaker feels like he got away with it, he expects God to pliment his work
-they spend the whole night not stirring, so he expects God’s mendation for his abstinence, but this is egotistic because he just killed a woman
-“Perfectly pure and good” – Porphyria will no longer be this once she returns to society, so this moment is one in which he can preserve that purity
-sex is cyclical in the poem, and Porphyria has misread it
-the speaker dissevers the ties between her head and her body
-Browning does not try to win our sympathy for the speaker, the judgment is clear so there’s no use in sympathy. Possession of someone is something Browning frequently condemns in his poetry. Controlling someone’s will he sees as an enormous sin in society.
“Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”
-Brother Lawrence: proper fellow who is the gardener at the monastery, a fairly important role
-other members of monastery view him as
-the italics in the poem are public speech
-Saint in stanza 4 is important: if this is public speech, whose is it? Probably not Brother Lawrence. The other monks would say BL is saintly. Brother Lawrence is lustful because he watches women outside the convent.
-Stanza 6, the speaker cuts off the vines, which prevents many melons and roses from being grown
-Is BL dangerous to the speaker? Or vice versa? The poem’s tone suggests neither
-the speaker crosses his fork after eating, drinks in three sips…could say something about his view of religion
-he wants to trip up BL on reading the Bible (last 3 stanzas)
-Stanza 8, he says if BL even glances at his (the speaker’s) “French novel,” he is doomed. This uncovers the speaker’s hypocrisy.
-He would go as far to make a pact with Satan just to spite BL
-The speaker: full of irrational hatred
-What would happen to speaker if BL did die?? His whole existence would be voided with his energy source gone
-Browning criticizes the speaker’s petty view of religion. He shows how we can have a sort of false religion, spirituality, as opposed to BL’s display of faith.
-This poem is not set in any specific historical period; the French novel, however, suggests moveable type and thus a relatively modern period. This contrasts “Porphyria’s Lover,” which is set firmly in VE.
-Perhaps the speaker has an inferiority plex that explains his behavior
“My Last Duchess”
-it involves a listener, something the previous two poems don’t, and it is a man, a servant to the count, whose daughter the duke wants to marry
-the duke is negotiating with the emissary of a lesser noble (the count)
-there is an unusual sense of courtesy; he calls him “sir” at least four times
-the duke invites him to sit and rise, courteous
-the duke’s previous wife was put away, the references suggest she is dead
-she cast her smiles indiscriminately
-why does the duke give mands? He could have told her that his title merits more of her attention, but doesn’t because she should’ve known. He is particularly egotistical as he refuses to stoop. To tell her would be to degrade herself. To lessen her would be to lessen himself.
-he does this to give the count (via the emissary) an example of what to expect is the daughter to marry him, BUT the duke is stooping here, either hypocritically or just due to lack of self-awareness
-to what degree is the speaker conscious that he is stooping? Violating his code? We think he is unaware because we see beyond the speaker
-the interplay between art and life is a popular Browning theme, as is art as a possession and a replacement for a life
-one thinks the duke can get away with what he did, in renaissance Italy it could’ve been condoned, whereas in “Porphyria’s Lover,” such could not be done; what the duke is really looking for is impossible, someone who acts like an object, however, may be just the catch for a power hitter
-he wants more than respect from her, in the last lines of the poem, he calls attention to the seahorse cast in bronze, he wants ABSOLUTE CONTROL. He wants “objects” that surround him and contribute to his greater glory. As a work of art, she is under his plete control, but he wants a human being who will act as a work of art. He will never get it. Browning forces us to pass judgment, and we see his judgment that is appropriate for his sin.
“The Bishop Orders His Tomb” (p. 126)
-his audience is his “nephews—sons” – sons of a bishop in the Roman Catholic church?
-he calls his sons “nephews” because it reflects a double speech of the bishop; in public, he will call them nephews, in private, sons
-“Vanity, saith the preacher, vanity!” – the speaker does not see things of this world as vain; he sees his sons, he has clearly broken one of his vows (sex), which suggests he may have broken more
-he is not poor but has lived very well
-anger: he hates his predecessor Gandolf (l. 5), because he got the better space for his tomb in church
-the lump of lapis lazuli is buried outside the church because the bishop stole it, if the sons find it, why place it on his tomb when they can keep it for themselves?…PRIDE that he will have a better tomb than Gandolf, that he will have Cicero on his tomb
-the bishop is now on his death bed: why should he be concerned about material things? For his sons? Does the bishop think he will have an afterlife?
-His afterlife will be in the church (l. 80); he will think of the sensual aspects of church rituals, the “mutter of the mass” – it’s not the spiritual, but sensual, that he relishes
-how will he live in the church? As his tomb (ll. 85-)
-for the bishop, religion is art (remotely similar to “last duchess”); to survive death is to survive as a work of art; the better the work of art, the better the religion
-material life never ends, none of spiritual meaning in spiritual objects is left
-his sons are the one flaw, they are to carry out his orders; like father like son, the bishop gives three pleas to his sons (l. 36)
-would the saint oblige the bishops requests? Do the sons have the same appreciation for the material?
-we must not forget the woman who birthed the sons (l. 105)
-whichever heaven or hell he goes to when he dies is irrelevant to the tomb; he must realize this before the dies, but he seems oblivious at end
-his consolation at end is that he got the girl, not Gandolf
-he might have gotten a better tomb without sons; sons as a stigma
LOVE: Browning’s is very romantic, finding its roots in romanticism
-B would say you have an ideal and absolute (quasi-Platonic) panion; when you and your soul mate e together, the experience is transforming
-Browning and Elizabeth Barrett left England and got married; he felt she was his soul mate
-however, Browning’s understanding of love is not entirely metaphysical; he was known as riskquee among the Victorians; he is not a relativist but believes in absolutes, though there are departures from those absolutes (in Porph. Lover, B plays with time, what should be an ideal)
-MOMENTS are when great things happen; the moment of recognition is a transforming experience
-describe nature of the moment
-eight numbered stanzas
-stanza 8, “her soul’s mine” – this type of moment between two soulmates is always an equal thing, but the speaker has captured something of hers and has not achieved what he purports to achieve
“By the Fireside” (p. 160)
-it is about two lovers
-the language the speaker (he) uses presents a “shadowy third” – however, it is the landscape that brings the two together
-this is a dramatic monologue about TIME, which could be irrelevant to a moment
-speaker begins by fireside telling what he means to do
-in the future he will be fireside reading prose, acpanied by his young ones (children) who want to leave to go play because is absorbed by text
-S. 4 suggests he will be brought back from future to the past, which will be Italian. This past is not the present
-the Italian landscape is surveyed, “Oh woman-country” (l. 28)
-places that show human habitation are deserted; we recall them by what is there
-S. 20-30 is a break in the recollection with a specific function: he stops to address his “perfect wife”
-S. 24, he evokes her so that she may return to the past with him and live it over with more intensity
-we return in S. 31 to Italian landscape and she is with him; he must ask her to acpany him
S. 37 would be an apt time for something significant, yet nothing happens; anticlimax
-S. 39, the oute is still unseen
-l. 41, he would’ve more readily declared his love in his youth
-after 48, it is about reliving the past; he now sees how everything has led up to this moment, the pinnacle of his existence
-his death is a sort of redemption of his life itself
“Love Among the Ruins”
-First stanza: first six lines are about the present, second six are of the past
-the present has quiet and pastoral qualities, while the past has great and gay
qualities, activity ? the imbalance suggests a preference for the past
-the bination of long and short lines is significant: the first six lines are a relatively continuous and fluid sentence, the lines about the past have definite pauses between the long and short lines, which can qualify the longer lines
-the activities of the past are not all positive…peace or WAR
-Second stanza: greatness of the past is even more celebrated than in the first
-Third stanza: more extreme
-Fourth stanza: the pastoral landscape has a single feature to it
-Fifth: the speaker finally addresses us in his own voice; the second six lines, the present has displaced part of the past, the present now inhabits the past
-The last two stanzas are an inversion-the past es first; the present is so much more than the past; the ecstasy between he and his lover in that moment is all that matters
the poem about the greatness of love that is long-lived and worked for
“Two in the Campagna”
-why HASN’T he achieved the moment?
-are these two lovers doomed to be
-stanza 7 shows agency to the point of potential male domination; mutuality lost
-he is talking too much, trying too hard, he is trying to pel ease by talking
-he may have the best intentions but he’s a bit too earnest
-temporality in stanza 10, “then the good minute goes”
“The Statue and the Bust”
-it is about the duke and the bride of Riccardi, another courtier; Browning makes this work however adulterous it may be, it’s possible
-the woman is controlled by her husband, it is an arranged marriage (renaissance Italy)
-her husband tells her (55) that death is her only escape; she is doomed to be a prisoner, she responds
-if these are soulmates, why don’t they end up together? Because
-until they end up as “the statue and the bust,” interplay of life and objects of art
-was their love perhaps not as great as it should’ve been? Were they NOT soulmates?
-l. 226, Browning introduces another voice…the voice of the listener, perhaps
-this person says it’s best that it ended this way because it would’ve been a crime
-to that, Browning says, well, maybe, he is not, however, convinced ? Browning as a social liberal – Browning is disappointed that they never even tried to make it work out
-B says there are two levels of morality: that of society and that of a higher order
“The Last Ride Together”
-the relationship seems to be over with at the beginning of the poem
-he thanks her for honesty and asks for one more time together
-it’s a celebration of not just the end of things
-mesquite chicken with bacon on wheat no onions with chili sauce on the side
-there are no signs of mutuality
-is this the real moment? This is questionable because this has “Changed not in kind but in degree” – in Browning, heavenly bliss is always a change in kind
-B here is celebrating the earthliness of love
-“Mistress” suggests this is not a married couple
-love without sex IS the best earth has to offer, but it’s not love because there’s no spiritual side
“A Toccata of Galuppi’s”
-a toccata is a type of light song with many shortly-held notes
-chances are, the speaker is playing the music, making ments on it
-the speaker is English and somewhat sheltered, as he “was never out of England” (st. 3)
-in st, 13, we learn he knows physics and geology and mathematics, which is his pastime
-there is a treatment of art historically; art captures the spirit of its age
-it can recreate the age in which the art was made
-st.12, he’s never been to Venice, yet art has taken him there
-in 18th c. Venice, there was a lot of fun, activities, and art that Galuppi’s music brings it to life
-in st. 10, the sad fate of Venice is disclosed…Venice in the 18th c. was a decadent time; we get the speaker’s point of view “Then they left you for their pleasure…”
-st. 13, the speaker seems to be enlightened and superior – it is somewhat spiritual
-he’s assured his age will survive
-he adopts a fortable allegiance to this age, in st. 15, instead of condescension
-the poem doesn’t SAY 19th c. England is superior to 18th c. Venice, but it serves as a warning that it could end up that way
-it leads us to ask, why is Venice a fit parison to England? Venice was a great naval power in the late Middle Ages and the renaissance. England, in the 19th c., was a great empire because of its naval power
-this poem has to do with imperialism (Gulliver’s Travels)
“Pictor Ignotus” (means “painter unknown”)
-Browning referring to an anonymous artwork
-pre-Raphaelites = artists of the 19th c. who wished to mimic the art prior to Raphael instead of Raphael’s itself
-l. 15 - , he characterizes a particular painting
-how does the speaker describe his own work? By contrast, the speaker (l. 57) chooses to paint the way he wants to, it is pre-renaissance art, which is iconic-like, where there is no attention to the particular features, people are unrealized, and they are shown in proportion to their importance (Christ, although a child, may be larger than the others in the poem)
-WHY does the speaker choose to paint this way (he is able to)? He wants us to see the effect of Raphael’s work: fame. Fame of his own age, and of entire history…we KNOW Raphael’s name, but we don’t know this painter’s name. These paintings will not survive, pared to Raphael’s that did. He imagines Raphael’s fortune (25-30)
-this choice denies the painter fame and fortune, and survival, for which art is the medium; he knows himself to be a pictor ignotus, so his purpose of painting is in question:
-ln 25, “I have not dreamed,” the painter has considered the temptation of fame
-ln. 57, it seems that the painter doesn’t really enjoy art
-it could be the spiritual purpose of art, a type of homage to God, with art that directs our attention to heavenly things; he perhaps saw Raphael paying too much attention to earthy things
-we might credit the speaker with a type of spiritual crisis
-rebirth with a focus on this world, not the other: “This world seemed not the world it was before” (l. 44)
-he risks parison based on quality, not quantity, of art to many others
-Browning says this guy can’t leave the pre-Raphaelite mold
“Fra Lippo Lippi”
–takes place in the later part of the 15th century
-he is out after curfew in the red light district. He is a painter and a monk, seeing “sportive ladies”?! (l. 6)
-he sits down and tells his life story to a total stranger
-l. 91-105, why he es to monastery; Fra Lippo has a skill in painting, but he does it uncontrollably, like a graffiti artist
-the monks looked black; the prior recognizes a painter, who he wants to put to use
-l. 170, they recognize the prior’s niece
-the prior has a severe case of asthma, who the niece always attends, and he gets refreshment from that
-l. 128. Leisure is mentioned
-why does the prior object to Fra Lippo’s painting? He is painting realistically, drawing his figures from real life. For FL, the only way to show souls is through the flesh; he considers, then, the prior to be a sort of idiot.
-l. 231, FL still gets recognition
-FL has learned to recognize the souls of people on the streets; his art is a product of that
-connection b/w soul and body, Browning suggests, es naturally
-human experience and individualism of figures takes place during renaissance: rediscovery of self, PERSPECTIVE (human) is introduced in renaissance art
-the proportions aren’t important in medieval art
-it is a shift from perspective of God to the perspective of man (all are equal in God’s eyes)
-are the vows the true sign of spirituality? There’s a suggestion that Fra Lippo is spiritual, but in a new sense
-recreating nature is assuming God’s power ? this is the objection around line 295
-Fra Lippo is celebrating in the flesh is not particularly worldly because he is celebrating what God created
-there may be two values of religion…the temporal, which is not necessarily more spiritual,
-line 361, “Out of a corner when you least expect,” will e Fra Lippo himself in the painting
-to celebrate the flesh is not to celebrate just good because humanity has good and bad people, however all must be celebrated because it is all God’s creation
-line 48, FL has been painting for the Medicis;
-line 61, they want their painting finished; it’s carnival season. Locking up FL is the only way they’ll get their painting finished, but FL still gets out.
-FL believes art is a process to celebrate life, not a product to possess
-Browning’s approval is suggested here as FL always gets off easily
-FL pares the ordinary cop to Judas (25), but he should have more luck with the sergeant
-“this world’s no blot for us,/ No blank; it means intensely, and means good” (313-14)
-FL’s notions and ideas are parable to Browning’s
-the poem goes from midnight to dawn
-also takes place before the carnival, which is before lent, ie spring
“Andrea del Sarto”
–takes place towards the end of the renaissance (because the painters to whom he pares himself are already famous); also takes place in autumn
-del Sarto pares himself to Michaelangelo, Raphael and DaVinci
Excerpt From Essay:
I really do appreciate HelpMyEssay.com. I'm not a good writer and the service really gets me going in the right direction. The staff gets back to me quickly with any concerns that I might have and they are always on time.
I have had all positive experiences with HelpMyEssay.com. I will recommend your service to everyone I know. Thank you!
I am finished with school thanks to HelpMyEssay.com. They really did help me graduate college..