The Criminal Mind of Robert Browning Essays
Sonnet 20 elizabeth barrett browning analysis essay
Robert Browning’s , a two volume publication of new poems, was a major literary event in nineteenth-century Britain. These poems shift emphasis from the private, atemporal, and generally non-social genre of Romantic lyricism to the ironies and enigmas of human awareness and social relationships, to dramatic action in human speech. Browning’s men and women are presented overtly as speech acts, grounded in psychological and cultural origins, and in the ambiguities of linguistic processes. Readers often found Browning’s mode of writing obscure, but its methods and implications consistently engage with other domains of Victorian thought—in religion, biology, and psychiatry. While the status of this publication was not widely understood at the time, its value is manifest in its reception history, in the discussion and representations that constitute its ongoing existence as a historical event.
Robert Browning; essays and thoughts
In November 1855 Robert Browning published 51 new poems under the general title of Men and Women. Browning had high hopes for their success, but if an “event” exists only in its representations—discussion, debate, description, the marks that generate its existence—this publication was at the time a minor moment. The two volumes were hardly noticed, barely debated in public and, apart from a few significant admirers (William Morris, the Rossettis, George Eliot), generally dismissed as yet another in a series of obscure works by the enigmatic Mr. Browning (DeVane 205-11; Ryals 132-33; Kennedy and Hair 274-81). It is only by means of their reception history, their public discussion and analysis in the following decades and century, that their cultural and aesthetic value gradually emerged. Ensuing judgements have subsequently defined this event as a watershed in Browning’s career, as among the best three of his publications, along with Dramatis Personae (1864) and The Ring and the Book (1868-69), and as a major moment therefore in the literary history of nineteenth-century Britain.