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By Robert Browning 'Love among the ruins'

Revision hope it helps!
by

Rebecca Davies

on 13 September 2013

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Transcript of By Robert Browning 'Love among the ruins'

Love among the ruins ANALYSIS DETAILS SYMBOLS Form of the poem The Poems surroundings BY REBECCA & ERIN By Robert Browning Where the quiet-coloured end of evening smiles,
Miles and miles
On the solitary pastures where our sheep
Half-asleep
Tinkle homeward thro' the twilight, stray or stop
As they crop—
Was the site once of a city great and gay,
(So they say)
Of our country's very capital, its prince
Ages since
Held his court in, gathered councils, wielding far
Peace or war. Now the country does not even boast a tree,
As you see,
To distinguish slopes of verdure, certain rills
From the hills
Intersect and give a name to, (else they run
Into one)
Where the domed and daring palace shot its spires
Up like fires
O'er the hundred-gated circuit of a wall
Bounding all
Made of marble, men might march on nor be prest
Twelve abreast. Reading of the poem Form and structure of poem The short lines are made up of three syllables whilst the long lines are made up of eleven syllables. The poem reveals the informal reflective style Browning uses, as it gives contemplations from the speaker’s view. And such plenty and perfection, see, of grass
Never was!
Such a carpet as, this summer-time, o'er-spreads
And embeds
Every vestige of the city, guessed alone,
Stock or stone—
Where a multitude of men breathed joy and woe
Long ago;
Lust of glory pricked their hearts up, dread of shame
Struck them tame;
And that glory and that shame alike, the gold
Bought and sold. Now—the single little turret that remains
On the plains,
By the caper over-rooted, by the gourd
Overscored,
While the patching houseleek's head of blossom winks
Through the chinks—
Marks the basement whence a tower in ancient time
Sprang sublime,
And a burning ring, all round, the chariots traced
As they raced,
And the monarch and his minions and his dames
Viewed the games. Now—the single little turret that remains
On the plains,
By the caper overrooted, by the gourd
Overscored,
While the patching houseleek's head of blossom winks
Through the chinks—
Marks the basement whence a tower in ancient time
Sprang sublime,
And a burning ring, all round, the chariots traced
As they raced,
And the monarch and his minions and his dames
Viewed the games. And I know, while thus the quiet-coloured eve
Smiles to leave
To their folding, all our many-tinkling fleece
In such peace,
And the slopes and rills in undistinguished grey
Melt away—
That a girl with eager eyes and yellow hair
Waits me there
In the turret whence the charioteers caught soul
For the goal,
When the king looked, where she looks now, breathless, dumb
Till I come.

But he looked upon the city, every side,
Far and wide,
All the mountains topped with temples, all the glades'
Colonnades,
Alwel the causeys, bridges, aqueducts,—and then
All the men!
When I do come, she will speak not, she will stand,
Either hand
On my shoulder, give her eyes the first embrace
Of my face,
Ere we rush, ere extinguish sight and speech
Each on each. In one year they sent a million fighters forth
South and North,
And they built their gods a brazen pillar high
As the sky
Yet reserved a thousand chariots in full force—
Gold, of course.
O heart! oh blood that freezes, blood that burns!
Earth's returns
For whole centuries of folly, noise and sin!
Shut them in,
With their triumphs and their glories and the rest!
Love is best. A reading of the poem “Love Among the Ruins” by Robert Browning draws the reader into a visual of a city in ruins and the contrast that can be found in the land where the city used to be.

Though a majestic city that existed then, the speaker clearly shows their preference to the love now found on the site compared the earlier glories that were found in the city. Browning manages to use imaginative language to conjure up the fallen city and the heart that drove the city. In addition the current landscape before the speaker’s eyes and the potential expressed in the love the speaker shares with a girl is brought out well. The poem is a closed poem, where Browning effectively uses twelve lines in each stanza to bring the contrasts to life. This type of form works well in giving the poem a moderate pace that allows the speaker to narrate. The stanzas are then divided into long and short lines alternating giving the poem a rhythm and beat that allows the narration to flow freely and create a meditative feel. The poem expresses the contrast between the historical past of the area in which the speaker finds himself and its present condition. Then it was lively with men who sacrificed so much for glory and war “Where a multitude of men breathed joy and woe” (31). Now it is none the less lively with sheep that graze in peace “ On the solitary pastures where our sheep/Half asleep/ Tinkle homeward throw the twilight, stray or stop/As they crop” (3,4,5 and 6). In looking to its past the speaker expresses how much better it is now than it was in the past. That is because before, the city that rose in the area was filled with “folly, noise and sin” (81). Now the area is filled with love and innocence which is infinitely better and has the power to endure “ With their triumphs and their glories and the rest!/Love is best.” (83 and 84).

Browning introduces the main theme of the poem which is a comparison of the contrast of the fallen city and the serene, pure productive landscape. One of the interesting elements of the poem is the very informal voice that Browning writes in. The words of the speaker introduce an element of conversation which draws the reader as he contemplates. This can be shown by the conversational words he chooses to use in “(so they say)” (8) and “And such plenty and perfection, see, of grass” (25).

Browning uses words that give negative connotation to the “glory and shame” (33) of the former city”s men which he terms as “gold” corrupting them because they were up for sale (35). On the other hand he employs positive connotations when he associates the comfort of the grass with a spread carpet. “miles and miles"
“glory and shame”
“eager eyes and yellow hair” (55). “Tinkle homeward thro’ the twilight, stray or stop” (5). “Made of marble, men might march on nor bepressed” (23).

“Lust of glory pricked their hearts up, dread of shame/struck them tame. “And that glory and that shame alike, the gold” (33-35).

“(so they say)” (8).

“love is best” (84).
“Where the domed and daring palace shot its spires/up like fires” (19-20) and “And they build their gods a brazen pillar high/as the sky” (75 and 76).

“joy and woe” (31), the “blood that freezes, blood that burns” (79). The smiling, quiet evening is a symbol of the peace and renewal that has taken place and the overall happiness that befits the country side. While the city had been gay before because of the men it seems nothing compares to the happiness that can even be seen to endure in nature. “Where the quiet-colored end of evening smiles” (1) and again in “And I know, while thus the quiet-colored eve/Smiles to leave” (49-50). One of the themes of the poem is that love is preferable to material glory.

“lust of glory” (33). Browning uses various elements of imagery to depict the undesirable life in the old city and the attractiveness of the new land amid the ruins.

Though the city had its moment and those who lived in its time had their glories, it would be undesirable for the speaker to have the old city back at the expense of the new life the speaker experiences in the current land. Use of imagery VOICE OF THE POEM Rhythm of the poem About Robert Browning Robert Browning was born in Camberwell to a well off family. His grandfather was a wealthy slave owner in Saint Kitts in the West Indies. His father was a literary collector and had a library of around 6,000 books.


Browning did not settle well in school and was eventually tutored at home. By the age of twelve he had written volume of Byronic verse which his parents tried unsuccessfully to have published. He did not settle well in school and was educated at home by a tutor. By the age of fourteen he was fluent in Greek, Latin, French and Italian. He continued to live with his parents and was financially dependent on them until his marriage in 1845. Thank You! Rhythm & Voice A theme IMAGERY MEN & WOMAN Men and Women was the only volume of poetry that was published during Robert and Elizabeth’s marriage. This volume of poetry was inspired by and dedicated to Elizabeth. As a result, it is particularly concerned with both love and Italy where they lived for the majority of their married life. The representations of love here are not politicised in any way – critics have noted that the collection largely withdraws from the contemporary world to focus on the private, internal side of relationships. As well as love, the collection takes in art, beauty, religion and, to a lesser extent, politics – all drawing from a wide range of settings.
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