Dramatic Monologue Essays

The Dramatic Monologue is a type of a lyric poem. It was developed in the Victorian period. Robert Browning is said to have perfected the Dramatic Monologue, with poems such as My Last Duchess, and Soliloquy of a Spanish Cloister.

As its name states, it is a monologue, hence it is a speech uttered by a single person. In its fullest form, the dramatic monologue has three salient features Firstly, a single person who is patently not the poet, utters the speech that makes up the whole of a poem, in a specific situation at a critical moment. The dramatic monologue must occur at a critical moment, as it is this feature that distinguishes the dramatic monologue from a monologue. It also gives a dramatic effect, as it gives the reader the feeling that the something has happened before which has led to the utterance of the dramatic monologue. For instance, in the poem, The Forsaken Merman by Matthew Arnold, the Mermans human wife has abandoned him and their children in order to go pray in a church. The Merman utters the poem at the time when he realizes that that his wife will never come back.

Secondly, this person addresses and interacts with one or more other people, but we know of the auditors presence only from clues in the discourse of the single speaker. The auditor never speaks, but we know of what he or she says and does when the speaker tells us. For instance, in the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot, the implied auditor is Prufrocks lover. We know of her presence when Prufrock addresses her, for example Let us go then, you and I. This first line of the poem tells us then that the poem is addressed to a specific person. Another instance is Oh, do not ask, What is it? This line tells us that the auditor, that is the lover does interact with the speaker, Prufrock, but we know about these interactions only through what the speaker says.

Thirdly, the main principle controlling the poets formulation of what the lyric speaker says is to reveal to the reader, in a way that enhances its interest, the speakers temperament and character. This focus on self revelation is what distinguishes the dramatic monologue from its near relation, the dramatic lyric, which is also a monologue at an identifiable moment but it does not reveal any new facts. For example, in the poem Porphyrias lover by Robert Browning, the lover who is the speaker, through the course of the poem reveals his insanity. He reveals that though Porphyria was beautiful and loved him, he was still dissatisfied until the point of time that he realizes that Porphyria worships him. It is at this point of time that he reveals his insanity, when unable to contain his emotions on realizing the extent of Porphyrias devotion, he wound her hair Three times her little throat around | And strangled her. Thus, such revelations are characteristic of a Dramatic Monologue.

A Dramatic Monologue may or may not have all three characteristics. For instance, the poem “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold does not take place at a critical moment. Yet, it is considered a dramatic monologue as it is uttered by a single speaker, and it has an implied auditor, the speaker’s love, whom he addresses in the last stanza “Ah, love, let us be true”. Thus the dramatic monologue is flexible as a poetic style.

Bibliography :

“A Glossary of Literary Terms” -M.H. Abrams, 7th EditionPersonal notes from lecturesPoems :”The Forsaken Merman” – Matthew Arnold”The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” – T. S. Eliot”Porphyria’s Lover” – Robert Browning

Dramatic Monologue: This Essay Spells Out The Salient Features Of The Dramatic Monologue, With Examples

The Dramatic Monologue is a type of a lyric poem. It was developed in the Victorian period. Robert Browning is said to have perfected the Dramatic Monologue, with poems such as “My Last Duchess”, and “Soliloquy of a Spanish Cloister”.

As it’s name states, it is a monologue, hence it is a speech uttered by a single person. In its fullest form, the dramatic monologue has three salient features –Firstly, a single person who is patently not the poet, utters the speech that makes up the whole of a poem, in a specific situation at a critical moment. The dramatic monologue must occur at a critical moment, as it is this feature that distinguishes the dramatic monologue from a monologue. It also gives a dramatic effect, as it gives the reader the feeling that the something has happened before which has led to the utterance of the dramatic monologue. For instance, in the poem, “The Forsaken Merman” by Matthew Arnold, the Merman’s human wife has abandoned him and their children in order to go pray in a church. The Merman utters the poem at the time when he realizes that that his wife will never come back.

Secondly, this person addresses and interacts with one or more other people, but we know of the auditor’s presence only from clues in the discourse of the single speaker. The auditor never speaks, but we know of what he or she says and does when the speaker tells us. For instance, in the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot, the implied auditor is Prufrock’s lover. We know of her presence when Prufrock addresses her, for example “Let us go then, you and I”. This first line of the poem tells us then that the poem is addressed to a specific person. Another...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Use of the Dramatic Monologue in Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess

2785 words - 11 pages In 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess', Browning uses several features of dramatic monologue in order to engage and sustain the interest of the audience. This style of monologue is spoken by a character, which is not the poet, and is usually projected at a critical moment, as in the case of 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover'. The speakers unintentionally reveal their insanity, in both poems, through their...

Purposes of the Dramatic Monologue in My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

1117 words - 4 pages My Last Duchess by Robert Browning is a dramatic monologue spoken by the Duke Ferrari. It highlights the jealous and sadistic nature of his character and the weirdness that surrounds his late wife’s demise. A dramatic monologue is a kind of poem whereby a single fictional or historical character other than the poet is made to speak to a silent audience, in this case, only the main character is allowed to talk. The purpose of the monologue is to...

This essay was about the poetic devices which Robert Browning used to enhance the haunting tone in his dramatic monologue, "My Last Duchess."

871 words - 3 pages Robert Browning sets the tone of "My Last Duchess," by using three significant poetic techniques, one of which is imagery. Browning uses the Duke's monologue to sketch out images in the reader's mind of the Duchess herself, and the sinister personality of the Duke. Browning also uses another key device, which is diction to illustrate the darkness in this poem....

Week 3: The Dramatic Monologue and the Modern Lyric Tradition. Q4: What is a Dramatic Monologue? Can it be defined? With reference to Browning, Eliot and Carol Ann Duffy:

2025 words - 8 pages The dramatic monologue is extremely hard to define, as it is multifaceted, and monologues vary widely in regards in content and situation. The dramatic part of the monologue form can be put down to the structure of the poetry itself, which is very often iambic, and where punctuation follows the pattern of everyday speech. Dramatic monologues do not usually rhyme, or conform to a strict pattern, as they are intended to reveal and honest and...

A Midsummer Night's Dream Dramatic Monologue

1186 words - 5 pages I am a merry wanderer of the night. I jest to Oberon, my lord, and make him smile. Those that 'Hobgoblin' call me, and 'Sweet Puck', I do their work, and they shall have good luck. I am he, Robin Good fellow, yet referred to as 'Puck' countless times. There hath been many estranged events that hath occurred before mine eyes. My story starts when I was mischievously overhearing conferences and events at the nuptial hour of

'Dramatic monologue between My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover?' - Was one mark off 100% on this one

4837 words - 19 pages 'The art of the dramatic monologue is to create a character who reveals himself in what he has to say.' How far do you agree with this statement in terms of the two Robert Browning poems you are studying: My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover?'In this essay I will...

The Dramatic Devices in Our Day Out by Willy Russell

2364 words - 9 pages The Dramatic Devices in Our Day Out by Willy Russell Willy Russell, the author of ‘Our Day Out’ was a playwright in Liverpool writing at a time when there was a high level of unemployment and a feeling that even with an education there was little work available. In the inner city areas there were low levels of literacy, schools attempted to deal with the disaffected students in special classes. Willy Russell grew...

Theatre of the Absurd: The meaningless of human existence - How does Theatre of the Absurd use dramatic forms and stylistic features to comment on the meaningless of human existence?

1424 words - 6 pages The term 'Theatre of the Absurd' is used to categorise plays which do not follow conventional play structures. The main aim of these plays is to transfer the writer's vision of the world onto the stage, and generally comment on the human condition. Plays such as Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett), The Dumb Waiter (Harold Pinter), and The Bald Prima Donna...

Lord Of The Flies - Ralph Monologue

498 words - 2 pages Lord Of The Flies - Ralph Monologue Should never have let this happen. Should never have let this happen. ===================================================================== (Ralph shaking his head) Jack’s an idiot, bloody idiot. Divide and rule. What does he think he’s playing at? Does nobody want to go home? I miss my family. Don’t they miss theirs? I just can’t understand (sighs). What’s wrong with him? It’s his fault we’re...

The salient features of Islamic economics and contrast them with those of conventional economics

783 words - 3 pages Introduction to EconomicsThe salient features of Islamic economics and contrast them with those of conventional economics?IntroductionIslamic economics is based on the Shariah which governs secular as well as...

Metaphor of “The Hunt” in “Monologue for an Onion”

988 words - 4 pages The concept of the hunt in “Monologue for an Onion” is essential to understanding the poem’s commentary on human desire and failure to comprehend the intricacies of life. The heart, skin, and secret core are the three concepts attached to the idea of the hunt that humanity is on. They each contribute a vital piece to understanding just why the Onion is suggesting that humanity is flawed when it comes to their pursuit of happiness and finding...

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *