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Revising Browning

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Karen Griffiths

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of Revising Browning

PORPHYRIA'S LOVER HEALTH WARNING! Here's an interpretation - it is just that though! Treat with caution!!
http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/rb/porphyria/best1.html THE PATRIOT - AN EXPLANATION Take a look at this: THE PATRIOT Listen to the poem

My Last Duchess http://prezi.com/rojzfpei5kbu/my-last-duchess/?kw=view-rojzfpei5kbu&rc=ref-4137011
The Pied Piper BROWNING IN THE EXAM Think about HOW Browning tells his stories.

What is effective about his story telling?

What common devices do you note?

Aspects of Narrative Browning's poetry It was roses, roses, all the way,
With Myrtle mixed in my path like mad:
The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway,
The church spires flamed, such flags they had,
A year ago on this very day.

Look at the first stanza What do you think of when you think of this word? Dictionary.com defines patriot as:
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
In the eighteenth century, patriotism was not necessarily considered a good thing. It was, traditionally, a term associated with foolishness and cunning.

Dr Johnson stated: “Never was patriot yet but was a fool” PATRIOT Robert Browning THE PATRIOT Think about modern characters to whom the fickle nature of society can be applied
Can you think of someone to whom the poem can be applied? (you may need to make the gallows metaphorical!) DO WE NEED TO KNOW? The specific time and setting of the piece
The biography of the narrator
What he had done to be so popular
What he had done throughout the year
Why he is to be executed WHAT WE DON’T KNOW What do we know?
The narrator was once a hero
Greeted and celebrated by townsfolk who believed he could do anything
He did his best to do as he was asked
He now faces the scaffold. WHAT WE KNOW The message becomes much more general in this stanza.
The narrator seems resigned to his fate, indeed he seems to welcome a speedy execution – why ?
What does he reflect about society in general? Stanza 6 Look for the following:

Pathetic fallacy
Religious imagery (and connotations in terms of the narrator)
Physical description of character
How does the narrator seem to feel? Stanza 5 TENSE CHANGE
“There’s nobody on the house-tops now”
Palsied = paralysed
Trow = know/ believe/ think
Pick out the key words that help change the tone of the stanza
This stanza acts directly in contrast to the first and second – how?
What do we sense about the narrator here? Stanza 4 Think about and comment on the following:
How the tone changes
What the speaker says he has done
The relationship he describes between himself and the townsfolk
His reference to the listener
The biblical reference (reaping and sowing)
The specific reference to time In pairs consider the third stanza The air broke into a mist with bells
The old walls rocked with the crowd and cries.
Had I said. “Good folk, mere noise repels –
But give me your sun from yonder skies!”
They had answered, “And afterward, what else?”

Looking back, what does the narrator recall about his position?
Read the second stanza What aspects have we so far found to be significant?

REPETITION ASPECTS OF NARRATIVE Was – past tense narrative
Roses, roses, myrtle – repetition but also, nature –
both flowers are typically associated with Aphrodite (goddess of love)
My – first person
Like mad – colloquial, chatty tone
Church spires flamed – metaphor – flamed with what? Adoration?
A year ago – a definite sense of time, place and narrator. What did you find to say?

Look also at the rhyme scheme and rhythm.

What do you notice? NOW READ THE POEM What do you think?

Could it mean that the story is ancient and passed on to generations beyond
Could it mean that the story is “old”/ out dated and no longer worthy of attention? An Old Story WHAT STORY TELLING DEVICES IS THIS POEM GOOD TO SHOWCASE? This one occurs to me… What do we learn from the title What different interpretations of the title can you come up with?

An Old Story Consider the title. Definite Article (someone specific) Indefinite Article (non-specific) The Patriot An Old Story In pairs, annotate the poem in terms of meaning.

Create a summary of the poem. THINKING ABOUT THE POEM AS A WHOLE
Dramatic monologues are usually long emotional speeches that express the feelings, actions, motives and views of the speaker or character either as a solo performance or as an individual part in a play.
Dramatic monologues should not be confused with a soliloquy.
Soliloquies are when someone talks to themselves about their thoughts and feelings concerning a situation, soliloquies imply that there is no audience.
Dramatic monologues indicate that there is an audience whether that audience is a single person, en mass or a movie camera. WHAT IS A DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE? Written 1836
One of the earliest and most shocking of Browning’s monologues.
Believed to have been based around a true story first described in 1818 by John Wilson
Fellow poet Bryan Proctor also wrote a poem based on this murder.
PORPHYRIA = a blood disease linked to mental illness
Links have been made with regards to this being a symbolic reference to love – the suggestion that love is some kind of disease/mental illness. HISTORY OF THE POEM This is a particularly chilling ending. WHY?
Look at the following:

Where would you say the ending begins? (where does the present tense narrative begin?)
What image is created at the end of the poem?
What is the effect of the use of the plural first person reference in line 59?
We are reminded at the end of the poem of the religious society in which the poem was written – how do we feel about the lover in his justifications? CLOSINGS

How does the setting at the beginning set the tone of the poem?
What images are created of the cottage? How does Porphyria’s entrance change the setting?
What setting is evoked by the end of the poem? How is this image created? SETTING In pairs, you will consider an aspect of the narrative.

You must create a poster using significant lines from the poem and explanatory notes.

How significant is Browning’s use of … in his story telling? SECTION B – ASPECTS OF NARRATIVE PORPHYRIA’s lover ROBERT BROWNING How does Browning open the poem?
Can you pick key words and phrases that help establish tone and atmosphere?
What impact does the entrance of Porphyria have? OPENINGS THE LOVER PORPHYRIA Which character would you choose to comment on in a SECTION B question?

Brainstorm in groups images, words and phrases created of character in the poem. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT Click on the link below - the prezi will
open in another window. At last the people in a body
To the Town Hall came flocking:
"'Tis clear," cried they, "our Mayor's a noddy;
And as for our Corporation—shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can't or won't determine
What's best to rid us of our vermin!
You hope, because you're old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease?
Rouse up, Sirs! Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we're lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!"
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation. Look at the third verse Openings
what tone is established in the first stanza?
Consider the use of rhyme.
Which particular words would you point to in the creation of tone? (Think particularly about “ditty”).
Now look at the second stanza – is there a different tone?
Consider the words used to describe the rats.
Narrative voice
What can you say about the narrative voice?
How is Hamelin described?
When is the poem set?
What use of time is made by the poet? (look at the use of both present and past tense)
What word/phrase is repeated in the second stanza? What is the effect? Ideas to get you going…
Hamelin Town’s in Brunswick
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so 
From vermin, was a pity.

They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women’s chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking 
In fifty different sharps and flats. You should have… In the Grimm version of the story, the Pied Piper, also known as the Rattenfaenger, or rat catcher, appears in the town of Hamelin in the middle of a rat infestation and offers to rid the town of vermin.
He uses an enchanted pipe to lure the rats into a river, where they all drown, but the townspeople refuse to pay him a shilling per rat, as promised.
He leaves Hamelin, but returns a few weeks later to seek revenge. On his second visit to Hamelin, the Pied Piper uses his magic pipe on the children of the town, leading them into a hole in a mountain on the edge of town and sealing them inside.
Only two children remain in the town, one blind and one lame, because they could not follow the piper. The Grimm version 1812-1889 ROBERT BROWNING Think about the following verses in terms of

Think closely about the closing of the poem

Think carefully about each of the following: NOW READ VERSE 8,9,10,11,12 What happens half way through this verse in terms of narrative voice?

What is the impact of this verse in our perception of the “vermin”?

What would you note in terms of language, form and structure in this verse – use the following slide to help guide your annotations. Verse 7 What happens to the verse length?
What happens to the rhyme and rhythm
How is the piper’s air of mystery intensified by his claims? NOW READ VERSE 6 How does Browning create an aura of mystery about the piper?
What does Browning NOT refer to? (what is not said!)

Use of colour?

How is he contrasted with the mayor physically? What does this imply? The pied piper What words are used to describe the mayor and his fellow politicians?
What image does this give of authority?
What is the effect of the use of speech marks in this passage
What has happened to the tone of the poem? QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER A feminine rhyme is a rhyme that matches two or more syllables, usually at the end of respective lines. Often the final syllable is unstressed.

City, ditty

A masculine rhyme is a rhyme that matches only one syllable, usually at the end of respective lines. Often the final syllable is stressed.

Vats, hats FEMININE AND MASCULINE RHYME Remember the key aspects of narrative? Which are significant here?

Narrative voice
Moments of crisis
In pairs, consider the first two stanzas in relation to the above. SECTION B Historians agree that the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, recorded in the 19th century by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, is based on an actual occurrence in 1284 in which most of the children in Hamelin disappeared. However, no one knows for sure the exact reason for the disappearance. Many scenarios have been postulated, some more likely than others.

The story of the Pied Piper was first depicted in a stained glass window from about 1300. The earliest written account dates from the mid-15th century.

The Grimm brother’s' version from the 1800s is the one that most people are familiar with, and the folklorists drew on 11 different sources for their tale. THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN Mother a pianist, father a bank clerk, artist, scholar and book collector

Much of Browning's education came from his well-read father.

It is believed that he was already proficient at reading and writing by the age of five.

In 1828, Browning enrolled at the University of London, but he soon left, anxious to read and learn
at his own pace. The random nature of his education later surfaced in his writing
The techniques he developed through his dramatic monologues—especially his use of diction, rhythm, and symbol—are regarded as his most important contribution to poetry, influencing such major poets of the twentieth century as Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and Robert Frost.

After reading Elizabeth Barrett's Poems (1844) and corresponding with her for a few months, Browning met her in 1845. They were married in 1846, against the wishes of Barrett's father.

They had a son, Robert "Pen" Browning, in 1849, the same year his Collected Poems was published.

Now regarded as one of Browning's best works, the book was received with little notice at the time; its author was then primarily known as Elizabeth Barrett's husband.

Robert Browning died on the same day that his final volume of verse, Asolando, was published, in 1889. BIOGRAPHY LANGUAGE
How would you describe the language?
What choices has Browning made?
In what way does the language suit the audience?
What is there of note with regards to figurative language?
Aural impact?
How does the text start?
How does it develop an idea?
How does one verse relate to another?
What genre of poem have we established?
How is the poem broken into stanzas?
Is there a regular pattern being followed? LANGUAGE FORM AND STRUCTURE The pied piper The Pied Piper SECTION B
HOW IS CHARACTER DEVELOPED? ``Come in!'' -- the Mayor cried, looking bigger
And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yellow and half of red,
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smile went out and in;
There was no guessing his kith and kin:
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire.
Quoth one: ``It's as my great-grandsire,
``Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone,
``Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!'' Verse 5 Who is this? Tone? What effect do these descriptions give? What is the mayor suggesting he would like to do? An hour they sat in council,
At length the Mayor broke silence:
``For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;
I wish I were a mile hence!
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain –
I'm sure my poor head aches again,
I've scratched it so, and all in vain
Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!''
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
``Bless us,'' cried the Mayor, ``what's that?''
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle green and glutinous)
`Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!'' Verse 4 What is the mayor suggesting he would like to do? Tone? What effect do these descriptions give? TIME SETTING REPETITION LANGAUGE CLOSINGS CLIMACTIC MOMENTS NARRATIVE VOICE STRUCTURE
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