Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM

Copy

Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.

DeleteCancel

'Life in a Love' by Robert Browning

No description
by

Joanne Aylott

on 19 March 2014

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of 'Life in a Love' by Robert Browning

Life in a Love
Life in a Love
is another of his dramatic monologues, which explores the timeless concept of Man's pursuit of Woman, and the theme of fate with regard to love.
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both,
Me the loving and you the loth,
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
It is but to keep the nerves at strain,
To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall,
And, baffled, get up and begin again, -
So the chase takes up one's life, that's all.
While, look but once from your farthest bound
At me so deep in the dust and dark,
No sooner the old hope goes to ground
Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark,
I shape me -
Ever
Removed!
Escape me?
Never --
Beloved!
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both,
Me the loving and you the loth,
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
My life is a fault at last, I fear:
It seems too much like a fate, indeed!
Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed.
But what if I fail of my purpose here?
It is but to keep the nerves at strain,
To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall,
And, baffled, get up and begin again, --
So the chase takes up one's life, that's all.
While, look but once from your farthest bound
At me so deep in the dust and dark,
No sooner the old hope goes to ground
Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark,
I shape me --
Ever
Removed!

Robert Browning
From the first three lines, it can be gathered that the poem is in the point of view of the anonymous speaker ("me") as he addresses his beloved.
the woman in the poem has seemingly expressed a desire for the speaker to leave her be
The speaker proclaims that as long as they remain the same, that until the day they die, he will always love her and thus pursue her, like an endless cycle almost.
The speaker is admitting that there will be hardships in his pursuit and instances in which he will want go give up entirely. Yet he states that it takes all he has to dry his tears and begin again.
He appears to the reader to have already yielded and succumbed to the knowledge that the pursuit has and will take up his whole life, reiterating the idea that he is aware of his fate and that he must fulfil it.
He states that even when the "old hope [for her] drops", a new one will take its place, and he will "shape" himself to it; he is willing to accept that this tenacity is his fate.
Robert Browning (1812 - 1889) was an English poet and playwright. He is well-known for his dramatic monologues, which made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.
Escape me?
Never --
Beloved!
Life in a Love
was published in
Men and Women
in 1855, which is a collection of 51 poems.
It was his first published work after a five year hiatus, and his first collection of shorter poems since his marriage to Elizabeth Barrett in 1846.
All 51 poems are monologues spoken by different narrators, some identified and some not. The first 50 poems take in a very diverse range of historical, religious or European situations.
He was a great admirer of the Romantic poets, especially Percy Shelley, after being given a collection of his poetry by his cousin in 1825.
Although the majority of his works were commercially unsuccessful at the time of publishing, the techniques he developed through his dramatic monologues, such as diction, rhythm and symbol, are regarded as his most important contribution to poetry, influencing poets such as Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and Robert Frost.
In the poem, love is seen as a struggle. The speaker's pursuit of the woman is seen to be a begrudging acceptance of his fate, and is seen as a burden.
The poem can be understood in terms of the theme of the impossible quest, one that a heroic man pursues even though he accepts that the prize can never be truly achieved.
The idea of fate has been complicated by the speaker; he implies that one has free will even within the confines of fate.
There is a strength in this acceptance, in that he does not let the fate control him even if it does shape his life, yet this acceptance compromises half of his identity.
With regard to its structure, the poem looks rather like a letter. Browning and his wife Elizabeth did maintain a correspondence through letters, as their romance was not accepted by their families, due to their being from different social classes.
"dust" and "dark" emphasize the idea that the speaker is 'lost' without her
The typical concept of Man's pursuit of Woman is seen particularly in
Lady Windermere's Fan
by Wilde, in which the character of Lord Darlington is seen to pursue a relationship with Lady Windermere throughout the entirety of the play. He states that she may take his life and do with it what she will, giving the impression that his life is nothing without her; the 'chase' of her is his life.
reluctant, unwilling
My life is a fault at last, I fear:
It seems too much like a fate, indeed!
Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed.
But what if I fail of my purpose here?
The speaker admits that this uncontrollable tenacity of his is a fault because it is too much like a fate, because despite his best efforts, he is doomed to spend his life in an endless pursuit, which is fruitless. It is detrimental to him, but yet it can be argued that it is destiny that he pursues her always.
The attraction he holds for the woman does not appear to be one that brings him sole happiness, but rather a burden he must accept.
The rhyme scheme is ABBA for the first eight lines and then ABAB for the final eight. The regularity is typical of the era.
The concept of love as a burden is also seen in
Pride and Prejudice
by Austen, particularly through the scene in which the character of Mr. Darcy confesses his love to Elizabeth for the first time; he is seen to be distressed by his feelings for her, giving the reader the impression that he would rather not have them at all.
he does not refer to himself directly as the pursuer; the effect of this is that he appears to be distancing himself from the predicament
It is a dramatic monologue; the speaker is reflecting on his ideas throughout the poem. It is a conversation in which he is a narrator and the reader turns into a silent listener.
Fate
Destiny
Unrequited love
The pursuit of another
Obsession
Major themes of the poem
Full transcript