A Guide-Book to the Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning

A Guide-Book to the Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning

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A Guide-Book to the Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning

A Guide-Book to the Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning

Read FREE!

Excerpt

This book has been prepared on the theory that a poet is his own best interpreter. No attempt has been made to expound Browning; that has been well done by Mrs. Orr, Professor Alexander, Mr. Symons, Mr. Nettleship, Mr. Fotheringham, and others. The attempt here made is of quite another kind, and one claiming less of merit and originality. Browning's works are so voluminous that an annotated edition is impracticable at present, but an effort has been made in this volume to supply that want in part. The introductions and notes which such an edition would provide are here given in a volume by themselves, and under the titles of the poems arranged alphabetically.

Browning's method being dramatic, and his special literary form the monologue, he rarely gives any very definite clue to the situations of his characters. The obscurity of many of his poems grows wholly out of the fact that they are filled with allusions which are not easily understood. He uses historic situations, biographical incidents, and artistic details without furnishing a sufficiently clear and full interpretation of them. He assumes that the reader is in possession of all needed information concerning his characters, when it is often difficult to understand who is speaking, to what time or place he belongs, and what are the circumstances under which he speaks. Given these, it is quite possible to follow Browning's meanings, and to read him with pleasure.

This book has not been prepared for those who think . . .

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