Alfred Tennyson vs Robert Browning Two Great Victorians a ...

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as “Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning”, the Comparative Study between As I have to. depend as well ... To learn ne...


Chapter One Background of the Topic

Comparison is not a novel phenomenon in life and literature. Since his advent on earth, man has been comparing different things. In literature, it has long been recognized as a helpful method of evaluating different works of art, and a manner of estimating literary figures. The importance of comparison cannot, therefore, be denied but it poses a great  problem when the objects compared are ar e poles apart. The same difficulty has been faced f aced while comparing Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning, the two gigantic poetic  personalities of the Victorian period. Both of them were born in the same country and  produced their creative works during the same span of time but there is a wide difference  between them. It was this fact which provided a stimulus to explore the factors that contributed to this difference between them. Yet another tempting fact to undertake this  project is that there has been no comparative study s tudy of these two poets although much has h as  been written on them separately. This treatise, which aims at presenting a comparative study, comprises two chapters. The first one deals with the background. It is further subdivided into two parts. The first part is about the Age of Tennyson and Browning to show how far the discoveries of science, the new conception of law and evolution and historical conditions affected their literary mind. The second part provides a short biography to highlight the conditions that shaped the private lives of Tennyson and Browning and evolved their peculiar perceptions of lif e. The second chapter deals with the analysis of their works as a whole, to indicate its spit. Some stylistic features are also discussed to conduct a comparative estimate of their  poetic style. In the conclusion an attempt is made to seek their th eir relative place in literature, as a result of their life and work and to measure the influence they exerted on their contemporary as well as successive ages.


Statement of the topic

In victorian age Tennyson and Browning Browning create a great great work that time. In third world literature, that time some writer create a world famous work who accept the whole world. This thesis really help me to know know about literary forms of victorian age. age. It is really  blessed to me to know about literature their important work and I know it now. Rational Evaluation

Often Browning is considered the more innovative of the two poets due to his often unusual syntax, but actually under his mellifluous and fluid surface style, Tennyson is  perhaps even more radically innovative. Both poets wrote dramatic monologues, but while many of Browning's narrators prove completely evil, Tennyson's often demonstrate a sort of moral ambiguity. Both poets experimented with writing in dialect and using nonlinear or complex narrative structures. While Tennyson often explores classical and medieval themes, many of Browning's best known poems are set in the Renaissance. While Browning's poems reflect a wide range of emotional tones, Tennyson is best known for his evocation of melancholy, although he also could write entertaining poems in dialect. dialect . There are major m ajor differences in style st yle between these two poets, who were contemporaries. Tennyson was of a much more romantic temperament, and his style is generally very lyrical, meditative, and often elegiac. Browning's poetic style, on the other hand, is generally more crisp and even clinical. Rather than lyrics, he is best known for his dramatic monologues which often assume a quite realistic speaker's voice. However, one similarity both poets share is that they like to delve deep into the psychology of their characters. Some characteristics, or features, of Victorian poetry move poetry away from the Romantic era poets. One such characteristic, or feature, is the Victorian interest in Medieval legends, myths and fables over the classical legends and mythology embraced  by the preceding Romantic poets. Another is a more realistic and less idealized view of nature, for instance nature's "red claws" are as likely to show as her woolly lambs. Another is a change of emphasis on what types of common people and common language is emphasized in poetry: whereas for Romantics it was the country rustic, for the Victorians it is more often the common urban dweller.


Tennyson's poems featured spiritual lessons wrapped in Medieval traditions as in "The Lady of Shallot." His symbolism led directly to pictures of humankind's condition and were not emblematic, that is not symbolically drawing similarities between nature and humankind's condition. Browning emphasized tales related to common urban people who had uncommon psychological dilemmas, like in"Porphyria's Lover," that were resolved in uncommon ways--not many people strangle their beloved with their own locks of hair. Browning was the master at developing the psychological shadings of his poetic characters in dramatic monologues as in "My Last Duchess." Methodology

To do this Dissertation I have to follow some pioneer critics’ critical appreciations such as “Alfred “Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning ”, the Comparative Study between As I have to depend as well as collect data and information on the basis of Secondary Source, so undoubtedly my dissertation is a Secondary Research.

Objectives: 

To learn a vast about victorian age.

To understand human nature, religion, and societ y.

Learn the similarity of their poem.

To learn new techniques and styles in poetry writing. To study the innermost psychology of characters ,external specific realities, ideas, and objects and to express it through through ornate ornate language.

To know the nature of expression and write it energetic melancholic way which give touch of nostalgia.

To recall the conscious mind an environment through ornate language.

To have have interest

in the remote part , abroad , especially in the Italy Italy of the

Renaissance. 

To know the meaning and mysteries of Nature as a whole, flowers, trees and  birds. 3|Page

To learn dedication for gaining knowledge and experience.


Tennyson and Browning are important Victorian poets, they differ in background and style. Browning is considered considered the more innovative innovative of the two poets poets due to his his often unusual syntax, but actually under his mellifluous and fluid surface style, Tennyson is  perhaps even more radically innovative. Both poets wrote dramatic monologues. Both  poets experimented with writing in dialect or complex narrative structures. While Tennyson often explores classical and medieval theme sand many of Browning's best known poems are set in the Renaissance. Browning's poems reflect a wide range of emotional tones and Tennyson is best known for his evocation of melancholy.We just studied especially in their methods of approaching the truth, truth, the two man are the exact opposites. opposites. Tennyson is the first artist and then the teacher, brownings’ message is always the important important thing and he careless, in which it is described.


Chapter Two The Life sketch of Tennyson and Browning Robert Browning: Robert Browning (7 May 1812  –   12 December 1889) was an English poet and  playwright whose mastery of the dramatic monologue made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.  poets.  His poems are known for their irony, characterization,  characterization,  dark humour, social commentary, historical commentary, historical settings,  settings, and  and challenging vocabulary challenging vocabulary and syntax. and syntax.Browning's Browning's early career began promisingly, but was not a success. The long poem Pauline brought him to the attention of Dante Gabriel Rossetti,  Rossetti,  and was followed by Paracelsus, which was praised by  by  Wordsworth and  and  Dickens, but Dickens, but in 1840 the difficult Sordello, which Sordello, which was seen as wilfully obscure, brought his poetry into disrepute. His reputation took more than a decade to recover, during which time he moved away from the Shelleyan forms of his early period and developed a more personal style. In 1846 Browning married the older poet Elizabeth Barrett,  Barrett,  who at the time was considerably better known than himself. So he started one of history's most famous literary marriages. They went to live in Italy, a country he called "my university", and which features frequently in his work. By the time of her death in 1861, he had published the crucial collection Men collection Men and Women. The Women.  The collection Dramatis collection Dramatis Personae and the booklength epic length epic poemThe Ring and the Book followed, and made him a leading British poet. He continued to write prolifically, but his reputation today rests largely on the poetry he wrote in this middle period. When Browning died in 1889, he was regarded as a sage and philosopher-poet who through his writing had made contributions to Victorian socia l and political discourse –  discourse  –  as  as in the poem Caliban upon Setebos,  Setebos,   which some critics have seen as a comment on the


theory of evolution,  evolution,   which had recently been put forward by Darwin and others. Unusually for a poet, societies for the study of his work were founded while he was still alive. Such Browning Such Browning Societies remained common in Britain and the United States until the early 20th century. Browning's admirers have tended to temper their praise with reservations about the length and difficulty of his most ambitious poems, particularly The Ring and the Book. Nevertheless, they have included such eminent writers as Henry James, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, G. K. Chesterton, Ezra Pound, Jorge Luis Borges,  Borges,  and Vladimir Nabokov.  Nabokov.  Among living writers, Stephen King's King's The Dark Tower series and A.S. Byatt'sPossession Byatt'sPossession refer directly to Browning's work. Today Browning's critically most esteemed poems include the monologues  Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, Fra Lippo Lippi, Andrea Del Sarto,  Sarto,  and My Last Duchess.  Duchess.  His most popular poems include Porphyria's Lover, How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix,  Aix,   the diptychMeeting at Night,  Night,  the patriotic Home Thoughts from Abroad, and Abroad,  and the children's poem The poem The Pied Piper of Hamelin. His Hamelin.  His abortive dinner-party recital of How They Brought The Good News was recorded on an Edisonwax cylinder,  cylinder,  and is believed to be the oldest surviving recording made in the United Kingdom of a notable person.

Early years Robert Browning was born in Walworth in the parish of Camberwell, Surrey, which now forms part of the Borough the  Borough of Southwark in south London. He was baptized on 14 June 1812, at Lock's Fields Independent Chapel, York Street, Walworth, the only son of Sarah Anna and Robert Browning. His father was a well-paid clerk for the Bank of England,  England,  earning about £150 per year.Browning's paternal grandfather was a wealthy 6|Page

slave owner in Saint Kitts, West Indies,  Indies,  but Browning's father was an abolitionist. Browning's father had been sent to the West the  West Indies to work on a sugar plantation, but, due to a slave revolt there, had returned to England. Browning's mother was the daughter of a German ship-owner who had settled in Dundee in Scotland, and his Scottish wife. Browning had one sister, Sarianna. Browning's paternal grandmother, Margaret Tittle, who had inherited a plantation in St Kitts, was rumored (within the family) to have a mixed race ancestry, including some Jamaican some Jamaican blood,  blood, but author Julia Markus suggests St Kitts rather than Jamaican. The evidence, however, is inconclusive either way. Robert's father, a literary collector, amassed a library of around 6,000 books, many of them rare. As such, Robert was raised in a household of significant literary resources. His mother, to whom he was very close, was a devout nonconformist and a talented musician. His younger sister, Sarianna, also gifted, became her brother's companion in his later years, after the death of his wife in 1861. His father encouraged his children's interest in literature and the arts. By twelve, Browning had written a book of poetry which he later destroyed when no publisher could be found. After being at one or two private schools, and showing an insuperable dislike of school life, he was educated at home by a tutor via the resources of his father's extensive library.By li brary.By the age of fourteen he was fluent in French, Greek, French,  Greek, Italian  Italian and Latin. He became a great admirer of the Romantic poets,  poets,  especially Shelley. Following the precedent of Shelley, Browning became an atheist and vegetarian. At the age of sixteen, he studied Greek at University at University College London but London  but left after his first year. His parents' staunch evangelical faith  prevented his studying at either Oxford or Cambridge University, both University, both then open only to members of the Church the  Church of England. He England.  He had inherited substantial musical ability through his mother, and composed arrangements of various songs. He refused a formal career and ignored his parents' remonstrations,


dedicating himself to poetry. He stayed at home until the age of 34, financially dependent on his family until his marriage. His father sponsored the publication of his son's poems.

First published works In March 1833, "Pauline, a Fragment of a Confession" was published anonymously by Saunders and Otley at the expense of the author, Robert Browning, who received the money from his aunt, one Mrs Silverthorne. It is a long poem composed in homage to Shelley to Shelley and somewhat in his style. Originally Browning considered Pauline as the first of a series written by different aspects of himself, but he soon abandoned this idea. The press noticed the publication. W.J. Fox writing in the The Monthly Repository of April 1833 discerned merit in the work. Allan Cunningham  praised it in the The Athenaeum.  Athenaeum.  However, it sold no copies. Some years later, probably in 1850, Dante Gabriel Rossetti came across it in the Reading Room of the British the British Museum and wrote to Browning, then in Florence in Florence to ask if he was the author. John author.  John Stuart Mill, however, Mill, however, wrote that the author suffered from an "intense and morbid self-consciousness". Later, Browning was rather embarrassed by the work, and only included it in his collected  poems of 1868 after making substantial changes and adding a preface in which he asked ask ed for indulgence for a boyish work. In 1834 he accompanied the Chevalier George de Benkhausen, the Russian consulgeneral, on a brief visit to  to   St Petersburg and began Paracelsus, which was published in 1835. The subject of the 16th century savant and alchemist was probably suggested to him by the Comte Amédée de Ripart-Monclar, to whom it was dedicated. The publication had some commercial and critical success, being noticed by Wordsworth, Dickens, Landor, J. Landor, J. S. Mill and the already famous Tennyson. It Tennyson. It is a monodrama without action, dealing with the problems confronting an intellectual trying to find his role in society. It gained him access to the London literary world.


As a result of his new contacts he met Macready,  Macready,  who invited him to write a  play.Strafford was performed five times. Browning then wrote two other plays, one of which was not performed, while the other failed, Browning having fallen out with Macready. In 1838 he visited Italy, looking for background for Sordello,  Sordello,  a long poem in heroic couplets, presented as the imaginary biography of the Mantuan bard spoken of by  by   Dante in the Divine the Divine Comedy, canto Comedy,  canto 6 of Purgatory, set against a background of hate and conflict during the Guelph-Ghibelline wars. This was published in 1840 and met with widespread derision, gaining him the reputation of wanton carelessness and obscurity. Tennyson commented that he only understood the first and last lines and Carlyle claimed that his wife had read the poem through and could not tel l whether Sordello was a man, ma n, a city or a  book. Browning's reputation began to make a partial recovery with the publication, 1841 –  1841 – 1846, 1846, of Bells and Pomegranates, a series of eight pamphlets, originally intended just to include his plays. Fortunately his publisher, Moxon, persuaded him to include some "dramatic lyrics", some of which had already appeared in periodicals. In 1845, Browning met the poet Elizabeth Barrett,  Barrett,  six years his elder, who lived as a semi-invalid in her father's house in Wimpole Street,  Street,  London. They began regularly corresponding and gradually a romance developed between them, leading to their marriage and journey to Italy (for Elizabeth's health) on 12 September 1846. The marriage was initially secret because Elizabeth's domineering father disapproved of marriage for any of his children. Mr. Barrett disinherited Elizabeth, as he did for each of his children who married: "The Mrs. Browning of popular imagination was a sweet, innocent young woman who suffered endless cruelties at the hands of a tyrannical papa  but who nonetheless had the good fortune to fall in love with a dashing and handsome


 poet named Robert Browning." At her husband's insistence, the second edition of Elizabeth’s Poems included her love sonnets. The book increased her popularity and high critical regard, cementing her position as an eminent Victorian poet. Upon William Wordsworth's Wordsworth's death in 1850, she was a serious contender to become  become   Poet Laureate,  Laureate,  the  position eventually going to Tennyson. to Tennyson. From the time of their marriage and until Elizabeth's death, the Brownings lived in Italy, residing first in Pisa,  Pisa,  and then, within a year, finding an apartment in Florence at  at  Casa Guidi (now a museum to their memory). Their only child, Robert Wiedemann Barrett Browning, nicknamed Browning, nicknamed "Penini" or "Pen", was born in 1849. In these years Browning was fascinated by, and learned from, the art and atmosphere of Italy. He would, in later life, describe Italy as his university. As Elizabeth had inherited money of her own, the couple were reasonably comfortable in Italy, and their relationship together was happy. However, the literary assault on Browning's work did not let up and he was critically dismissed further, by patrician writers such as Charles Kingsley,  Kingsley,  for the desertion of England for foreign lands.

Spiritualism incident Browning believed spiritualism to be fraud, and proved one of Daniel Dunglas Home's Home's most adamant critics. When Browning and his wife Elizabeth wife Elizabeth attended one of his séances on July 23, 1855, a spirit face materialized, which Home claimed was Browning's son who had died in infancy: Browning seized the "materialization" and discovered it to be Home's bare foot. To make the deception worse, Browning had never lost a son in infancy. After the séance, Browning wrote an angry letter to The Times,  Times,  in which he said: "the whole display of hands, spirit utterances etc., was a cheat and imposture." In 1902 10 | P a g e

Browning's son Pen wrote: "Home was detected in a vulgar fraud." Elizabeth, however, was convinced that the phenomena she witnessed were genuine, and her discussions about Home with her husband were a constant source of disagreement.

Major works In Florence, probably from early in 1853, Browning worked on the poems that eventually comprised his two-volume Men and Women,  Women,  for which he is now well known ,[14] although in 1855, when they were published, they made relatively little impact. In 1861 Elizabeth died in Florence. Among those whom he found consoling in that period was the novelist and poet Isa Blagden,  Blagden,  with whom he and his wife had a voluminous correspondence. The following year Browning returned to London, taking Pen with him, who by then was 12 years old. They made their home in 17 Warwick Crescent, Maida Vale. It Vale. It was only when he became part of the London literary scene — albeit albeit while paying frequent visits to Italy (though never again to Florence) — that that his reputation started to take off. In 1868, after five years work, he completed and published the long blank-verse poem The Ring and the Book. Based Book.  Based on a convoluted murder-case from 1690s Rome, the poem is composed of twelve books: essentially ten lengthy dramatic monologues narrated by various characters in the story, showing their individual perspectives on events,  bookended by an introduction and conclusion by Browning himself. Long even by Browning's standards (over twenty-thousand lines), The Ring and the Book was his most ambitious project and is arguably his greatest work; it has been called a tour de force of dramatic poetry. Published in four parts from November 1868 to February 1869, the  poem was a success both commercially and critically, and finally brought Browning the renown he had sought for nearly forty fort y years. The Robert Browning Society was formed in 1881 and his work was recognized as belonging within the British literary canon.

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Last years and death In the remaining years of his life Browning travelled extensively. After a series of long poems published in the early 1870s, of which Balaustion's Adventure and Red Cotton Night-Cap Country were the best-received, the volume Pacchiarotto, volume  Pacchiarotto, and How He Worked in Distemper included an attack against Browning's critics, especially Alfred Austin,  Austin,  who was later to become Poet Laureate.  Laureate.  According to some reports Browning  became romanticall y involved with Louisa, Lady Ashburton, but he refused refus ed her proposal of marriage, and did not remarry. In 1878, he revisited Italy for the first time in the seventeen years since Elizabeth's death, and returned there on several further occasions. In 1887, Browning produced the major work of his later years, Parleyings with Certain People of Importance in Their Day. It finally presented the poet speaking in his own voice, engaging in a series of dialogues with long-forgotten figures of literary, artistic, and philosophic history. The Victorian public was baffled by this, and Browning returned to the brief, concise lyric for his last volume, Asolando volume,  Asolando (1889), published on the day of his death.Browning died at his son's home Ca' Rezzonico in Venice on 12 December 1889. He was buried in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey;  Abbey;  his grave now lies immediately adjacent to that of  Alfred  Alfred Tennyson. During his life Browning was awarded many distinctions. He was made   LL.D. of Edinburgh, a life Governor of London University, and had the offer of the Lord Rectorship of Glasgow. But Glasgow. But he turned down anything that involved public speaking.

History of sound recording At a dinner party on 7 April 1889, at the home of Browning's friend the artist Rudolf Lehmann, an Edison cylinder phonograph recording was made on a white wax cylinder by Edison' by Edison'ss British representative, George representative, George Gouraud. In Gouraud.  In the recording, which still 12 | P a g e

exists, Browning recites part of How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix (and can be heard apologising when he forgets the words).When the recording was played in 1890 on the anniversary of his death, at a gathering of his admirers, it was said to be the first time anyone's voice "had been heard from beyond the grave."

Legacy Browning is now popularly known for such poems as Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess, How Duchess, How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix, and The and The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and Hamelin, and also for certain famous lines: "Grow old along with me!" (Rabbi Ben Ezra), Ezra), "A man's reach should exceed his grasp" and "Less is more" (Andrea Del Sarto), Sarto), "It was roses, roses all the way" (The Patriot), Patriot ), and "God’s in His heaven—All’s right with the world!" (Pippa Passes). Passes). His critical reputation rests mainly on his dramatic his dramatic monologues, in monologues, in which the words not only convey setting and action but reveal the speaker's character. In a Browning monologue, unlike a soliloquy,  soliloquy,  the meaning is not what the speaker voluntarily reveals  but what he inadvertently gives away, usually while rationalising past rationalising  past actions or   special  pleading his case to a silent auditor. These monologues have been influential, and today the best of them are often treated by teachers and lecturers as paradigm cases of the monologue form. Ian Jack, in his introduction to the Oxford University Press edition of Browning's poems 1833 – 1864, 1864, comments that Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot "all learned from Browning's exploration of the possibilities of dramatic poetry and of colloquial idiom". In Oscar Wilde's dialogue The Critic as Artist,  Artist,  Browning is given a famously ironical assessment: "He is the most Shakespearian creature since Shakespeare. If Shakespeare could sing with myriad lips, Browning could stammer through a thousand mouths. Yes, Browning was great. And as what will he be remembered? As a poet? Ah, not as a poet!

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He will be remembered as a writer of fiction, as the most supreme writer of fiction, it may  be, that we have ever had. His sense of dramatic situation was unrivalled, and, if he could not answer his own problems, he could at least put problems forth, and what more should an artist do? Considered from the point of view of a creator of character he ranks next to him who made Hamlet. Had Hamlet. Had he been articulate, he might have sat beside him. The only man who can touch the hem of his garment is George Meredith.  Meredith.  Meredith is a prose Browning, and so is Browning. He used poetry as a medium for writing in prose." Probably the most adulatory judgment of Browning by a modern critic comes from Harold Bloom:  Bloom:  "Browning is the most considerable poet in English since the major Romantics, surpassing his great contemporary rival Tennyson rival Tennyson and the principal twentiethcentury poets, including even Yeats, even  Yeats, Hardy,  Hardy, and  and Wallace  Wallace Stevens. But Stevens. But Browning is a very difficult poet, notoriously badly served by criticism,  criticism,  and ill-served also by his own accounts of what he was doing as a poet. Yet when you read your way into his world,  precisely his largest gift to you is his involuntary unfolding of one of the largest, most enigmatic, and most multipersoned literary and human selves you can hope to encounter." His work has nevertheless had many detractors, and most of his voluminous output is not widely read. In a largely hostile essay Anthony Burgess wrote: "We all want to like Browning, but we find it very hard."  Gerard Manley Hopkins and George and George Santayana were also critical. The latter expressed his views in the essay "The Poetry of Barbarism," which attacks Browning and Walt Whitman for what he regarded as their embrace of irrationality.

Cultural references A memorial plaque for a member of the Voluntary the Voluntary Aid Detachment, engraved Detachment, engraved with a quotation from the Epilogue to Browning's Asolando. The inscription reads: "In Loving Memory of Louisa A. M. McGrigor Commandant V.A.D. Cornwall 22. Who died on service, March 31, 1917.

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Erected by her fellow workers in the British Red Cross Society, Women Unionist Association, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Friends. One who never turned her back but marched breast forward,  Never doubted clouds would break, Never dreamed, dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph, Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, Sleep to wake."

In 1914 American modernist composer Charles Ives created the Robert Browning Overture, a dense and darkly dramatic piece with gloomy overtones reminiscent of the Second Viennese School. In 1930 the story of Browning and his wife was made into the play The Barretts of Wimpole Street, by Rudolph Besier.  Besier.  It was a success and brought popular fame to the couple in the United States. The role of Elizabeth became a signature role for the actress Katharine Cornell.  Cornell.  It was twice adapted into film. It was also the basis of the stage musical Robert musical Robert and Elizabeth, with Elizabeth, with music by Ron by Ron Grainer and book and lyrics by Ronald by  Ronald Millar. In The Browning Version (Terence Rattigan's Rattigan's 1948 play or one of several film adaptations), a pupil makes a parting present to his teacher of an inscribed copy of Browning's translation of the Agamemnon.Stephen Agamemnon.Stephen King's King's The Dark Tower was chiefly inspired by Browning's Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, whose full text was included in the final volume's appendix. Michael Dibdin's Dibdin's 1986 crime novel "A Rich Full Death" features Robert Browning as one of the lead characters.Gabrielle Kimm's 2010 novel His Last Duchess is inspired by My Last Duchess. A memorial plaque on the site of Browning's London home, in Warwick Crescent,  Maida Vale, was Vale, was unveiled on 11 December 1993.Browning Close in  Royston, Hertfordshire, is named after Robert Browning. Browning Street in Berkeley, in Berkeley, California, is California, is located in an area known as Poets' Corner and is also named after him. 15 | P a g e

Browning Street in Yokine, Western Australia,  Australia,  is named after him, in an area likewise known as Poets' Corner. Browning Street and Robert Browning School in Walworth, London,  London,   near to his  birthplace in Camberwell, in Camberwell, are  are named after him. Two of a group of three culs-de-sac in Little in  Little Venice, London, are London, are named Browning Close and Robert Close after him; the third, Elizabeth Close, is named after his wife.

List of works This section lists the plays and volumes of poetry Browning published in his lifetime. Some individually notable poems are also listed, under the volumes in which they were  published. (His only notable prose notable  prose work, with the exception of his letters, is his Essay on Shelley.) The Pied The Pied Piper leads the children out of   Hamelin. Illustration Hamelin. Illustration by  by  Kate Greenaway to the Robert Browning version of the tale. 

Pauline: A Fragment of a Confession (1833)

Paracelsus (1835) (1835)[32]

Strafford (play) (1837)

Sordello (1840)

Bells and Pomegranates No. I: Pippa Passes (play) (1841) o

The Year's at the Spring

Bells and Pomegranates No. II: King Victor and King Charles (play) (1842)

Bells and Pomegranates No. III: Dramatic Lyrics (1842) Porphyria's Lover 





Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister 

My Last Duchess

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

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Count Gismond



Johannes Agricola in Meditation

Bells and Pomegranates No. IV: The Return of the Druses (play) (1843)

Bells and Pomegranates No. V: A Blot i n the 'Scutcheon (play) (1843)

Bells and Pomegranates No. VI: Colombe's Birthday (play) (1844)

Bells and Pomegranates No. VII: Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1845) The Laboratory




“The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's Church” Church”




How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix

The Lost Leader 

Home Thoughts from Abroad

Meeting at Night

Bells and Pomegranates No. VIII: Luria VIII:  Luria and A Soul's Tragedy (plays) (1846)

Christmas-Eve and Easter-Day (1850)

Men and Women (1855) Love Among the Ruins







“The Patriot” Patriot”


“The Last Ride Together ”


“Memorabilia” Memorabilia”


“Cleon” Cleon”


“How It Strikes a Contemporary Contemporary””


“The Statue and the Bust” Bust”


“A Grammarian's Funeral” Funeral ”

A Toccata of Galuppi's

Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

Fra Lippo Lippi

Andrea Del Sarto

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“An Epistle Containing the Strange Medical Experience of Karshish, the Arab Physician” Physician”


“Bishop Blougram’s Apology”


“Master Hugues of Saxe-Gotha” Saxe-Gotha”


“By the Fire-side” Fire-side”

Dramatis Personae (1864) Caliban upon Setebos




“AbtVogler ”


“Mr. Sludge, "The Medium"


“Prospice” Prospice”


“A Death in the Desert” Desert”

Rabbi Ben Ezra

The Ring and the Book (1868 – 69) 69)

Balaustion's Adventure (1871)

Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society (1871)

Fifine at the Fair (1872)

Red Cotton Night-Cap Country, or, Turf and Towers (1873)

Aristophanes' Apology (1875) o

Thamuris Marching

The Inn Album (1875)

Pacchiarotto, and How He Worked in Distemper (1876) o


The Agamemnon of Aeschylus (1877)

La Saisiaz and The Two Poets of Croisic (1878)

Dramatic Idylls (1879)

Dramatic Idylls: Second Series (1880) o

“Pan and Luna” Luna”

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Jocoseria “(1883)

“arleyings with Certain People of Importance in Their Day” Day” (1887)

“solando” solando” (1889)

Ferishtah's Fancies “(1884)




Flute-Music, with an Accompaniment


Bad Dreams III



Alfred Tennyson: Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS Tennyson,  FRS (6 August 1809  –  6  6 October 1892) was Poet was  Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of  Queen   Queen Victoria's Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as "Break, Break, Break", Break", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", Brigade", "Tears, Idle Tears", Tears", and "Crossing the Bar ". ". Much of his verse was  based on classical on  classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, as Ulysses, although  although In  In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his friend Arthur Hallam,  Hallam,  a fellow poet and student at Trinity College, Cambridge,  Cambridge,   after he died of a stroke at the age of 22. Tennyson also wrote some notable blank notable blank verse including Idylls including Idylls of the King, "Ulysses", "Ulysses", and "Tithonus". "Tithonus". During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success. A number of phrases from Tennyson's work have become commonplaces of the English language, including "Nature, red in tooth and claw" (In Memoriam A.H.H.), "It’s " It’s better  better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all", "Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs  but to do and die", "My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure", "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield", "Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers", and

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"The old order changed, yielding place to new". He is the ninth most frequently quoted writer in The in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Early life Tennyson was born in Somersby, in  Somersby, Lincolnshire,  Lincolnshire, England. He was born into a middle-class line of Tennysons, but also had a noble and royal ancestry.His father, George Clayton Tennyson (1778 – 1831), 1831), was rector of Somersby (1807 –  (1807 – 1831), 1831), also rector of  Benniworth   Benniworth (1802 – 1831) 1831) and Bag Enderby,  Enderby,  and vicar of Grimsby (1815). Rev. George Clayton Tennyson raised a large family and "was a man of superior abilities and varied attainments, who tried his hand with fair success in architecture, painting, music, and  poetry. He was comfortably well off for a country clergyman and his shrewd money management enabled the family to spend summers at  at   Mablethorpe and Skegness and Skegness on the eastern coast of England". Alfred Tennyson's mother, Elizabeth Fytche (1781 –  (1781 – 1865), 1865), was the daughter of Stephen Fytche (1734 –  (1734 – 1799), 1799), vicar of St. James Church, Louth (1764) and rector of Withcall (1780), a small village between Horncastle between  Horncastle and Louth. and Louth. Tennyson's  Tennyson's father "carefully attended to the education and training of his children". Tennyson and two of his elder brothers were writing poetry in their teens and a collection of poems by all three was published locally when Alfred was only 17. One of those  brothers, Charles  brothers, Charles Tennyson Turner, later Turner,  later married Louisa Sellwood, the younger sister of Alfred's future wife; the other was Frederick Tennyson. Another Tennyson. Another of Tennyson's brothers, Edward Tennyson, was institutionalised at a private asylum.

Education and first publication Tennyson was a student of Louth Grammar School for four years (1816 –  (1816 – 1820) 1820) and then attended Scaitcliffe School,  School,  Englefield Green and King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth. He Louth. He entered Trinity entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in Cambridge,  in 1827, where he joined a secret society

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called the  the  Cambridge Apostles.  Apostles.  A portrait of Tennyson by George Frederic Watts is in Trinity's collection. At Cambridge, Tennyson met Arthur met  Arthur Henry Hallam and William and William Henry Brookfield, who Brookfield, who  became his closest friends. His first publication was a collection of "his boyish rhymes and those of his elder brother Charles" entitled Poems by Two Brothers, published in 1827. In 1829, Tennyson was awarded the Chancellor's the  Chancellor's Gold Medal at Cambridge for one of his first pieces, "Timbuktu".Reportedly, "it was thought to be no slight honour for a young man of twenty to win the chancellor's gold medal". He published his first solo collection of poems, Poems Chiefly Lyrical in 1830. "Claribel" and "Mariana", "Mariana", which later took their place among Tennyson's most celebrated poems, were included in this volume. Although decried by some critics as overly sentimental, his verse soon proved popular and brought Tennyson to the attention of well-known writers of the day, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Return to Lincolnshire and second publication In the spring of 1831, Tennyson's father died, requiring him to leave Cambridge before Cambridge  before taking his degree. He returned to the rectory, where he was permitted to live for another six years and shared responsibility for his widowed mother and the family. Arthur family.  Arthur Hallam came to stay with his family during the summer and became engaged to Tennyson's sister, Emilia Tennyson. In 1833 Tennyson published his second book of poetry, which included his well-known  poem, "The Lady of Shalott". Shalott ". The volume met heavy criticism, which so discouraged Tennyson that he did not publish again for ten years, although he did continue to write. That same year, Hallam died suddenly and unexpectedly after suffering a cerebral 21 | P a g e

hemorrhage while on vacation in Vienna.  Vienna.  Hallam's death had a profound impact on Tennyson and inspired several poems, including "In the Valley of Cauteretz" and In Memoriam A.H.H., a A.H.H., a long poem detailing the "Way of the Soul". Tennyson and his family were allowed to stay in the rectory for some time, but later moved to High to High Beach,  Beach,  Essex, about Essex, about 1837, leaving in 1840. An unwise investment in an ecclesiastical wood-carving enterprise soon led to the loss of much of the family fortune. Tennyson then moved to London and lived for a time at  Chapel House, Twickenham.

Third publication In 1842, while living modestly in London, Tennyson published the two volume Poems, of which the first included works already published and the second was made up almost entirely of new poems. They met with immediate success; poems from this collection, such as Locksley as Locksley Hall, "Tithonus", Hall, "Tithonus", and "Ulysses" have met enduring fame.  The Princess: A Medley, a Medley, a satire on women's education that came out in 1847, was also popular for its lyrics. W. lyrics. W. S. Gilbert later adapted and parodied the piece twice: in The Princess (1870) and in Princess in Princess Ida (1884). It was in 1850 that Tennyson reached the pinnacle of his career, finally publishing his masterpiece, In Memoriam A.H.H.,  A.H.H.,  dedicated to Hallam. Later the same year, he was appointed Poet appointed Poet Laureate, succeeding Laureate, succeeding William  William Wordsworth. In Wordsworth. In the same year (on 13 June), Tennyson married Emily Sellwood, whom Sellwood, whom he had known since childhood, in the village of  Shiplake. They  Shiplake. They had two sons, Hallam sons,  Hallam Tennyson (b. 11 August 1852) —  1852) — named named after his friend — and and Lionel (b. 16 March 1854). Tennyson rented Farringford rented Farringford House on the Isle the Isle of Wight in 1853, eventually buying it in 1856. He eventually found that there were too many starstruck many  starstruck tourists who pestered him in Farringford, so he moved to Aldworth, to  Aldworth, in  in West  West Sussex in 1869. However, he retained Farringford, and regularly returned there to spend the winters.

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Poet Laureate In 1850, after William Wordsworth's death and Samuel Rogers'  Rogers'  refusal, Tennyson was appointed to the position of Poet Laureate; Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Leigh and Leigh Hunt had also been considered. considered .[15] He held the position until his own death in 1892, the longest tenure of any laureate before or since. Tennyson fulfilled the requirements of this position  by turning out appropriate but often uninspired verse, such as a poem of greeting to Princess Alexandra of Denmark when she arrived in Britain to marry the future King Edward VII. In VII. In 1855, Tennyson produced one of his best-known works, "The Charge of the Light Brigade", Brigade", a dramatic tribute to the British cavalrymen involved in an in  an ill-advised charge on 25 October 1854, during the Crimean War.  War.  Other esteemed works written in the post of Poet Laureate include Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington and Ode Sung at the Opening of the International Exhibition. Tennyson initially declined a  a  baronetcy in 1865 and 1868 (when tendered by Disraeli), Disraeli), finally accepting a  peerage in 1883 at Gladstone's Gladstone's earnest solicitation. In 1884 Victoria created him Baron Tennyson, of Aldworth in the County of Sussex and of  Freshwater of  Freshwater in the Isle of Wight. He Wight. He took his seat in the House of Lords on 11 March 1884. Tennyson also wrote a substantial quantity of unofficial political verse, from the bellicose "Form, Riflemen, Form", on the French crisis of 1859 and the  Creation of the Volunteer Force,  Force,  to "Steersman, be not precipitate in thine act/of steering", deploring Gladstone's Home Rule Bill. Virginia Woolf wrote a play called Freshwater, showing Tennyson as host to his friends Julia Margaret Cameron and G.F. and G.F. Watts. Tennyson was the first to be raised to a British peerage British  peerage for his writing. A passionate man with some peculiarities of nature, he was never particularly comfortable as a peer, and it is widely held that he took the peerage in order to secure a future for his son Hallam.

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Colonel George Edward Gouraud,  Gouraud,   Thomas Edison's European agent, made sound recordings of Tennyson reading his own poetry, late in his life. They include recordings of  The   The Charge of the Light Brigade, and Brigade,  and excerpts from "The splendour falls" (from The Princess), "Come into the garden" (from Maud) (from Maud),, "Ask me no more", "Ode on the death of the Duke of Wellington" and "Lancelot and Elaine". The sound quality is poor, as wax cylinder recordings usually are. Photograph of the cedar tree at Swainston Manor, Isle of Wight. In the late 1890s, Lady Simeon at Swainston told her nurse (my great aunt) that Tennyson wrote "Maud" under this tree. Note the similarities in setting between this photo and the arbor above. Photos of the Gardens at Swainston under the wiki entry for  Swainston  Swainston Manor.

Towards the end of his life Tennyson revealed that his "religious beliefs also defied convention, leaning towards agnosticism and  pan deism": deism": Famously, he wrote in In Memoriam: "There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds." In Maud, 1855, he wrote: "The churches have kil led their Christ". In " Locksley Hall Sixty Years After," After," Tennyson wrote: "Christian love among the churches look'd the twin of heathen hate." In his play, Becket, he wrote: "We are self-uncertain creatures, and we may, Yea, even when we know not, mix our spites and private hates with our defense of Heaven". Tennyson recorded in his Diary (p. 127): "I believe in  Pantheism of a sort". His son's biography confirms that Tennyson was not an orthodox Christian, noting that Tennyson praised Giordano Bruno and Spinoza on his deathbed, saying of Bruno, "His view of God is in some ways mine", in 1892. Tennyson continued writing into his eighties. He died on 6 October 1892 at Aldworth, aged 83. He was buried at Westminster Abbey.  Abbey.  A memorial was erected in All Saints' Church, Freshwater. His Freshwater. His last words were, "Oh that press will have me now!". He left an estate of £57,206.

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He was succeeded as 2nd Baron Tennyson by his son, Hallam,  Hallam,  who produced an authorised biography of his father in 1897, and was later the second  Governor-General of Australia.

Tennyson and the Queen Though Prince Albert was largely responsible for Tennyson's appointment as Laureate, Queen Victoria became Victoria  became an ardent admirer of Tennyson's work, writing in her diary that she was "much soothed & pleased" by reading In reading  In Memoriam A.H.H. after Albert's death. The two met twice, first in April 1862, when Victoria wrote in her diary, "very peculiar looking, tall, dark, with a fine head, long black flowing hair & a beard, oddly dressed, but there is no affectation about him." Tennyson met her a second time nearly two decades later, and the Queen told him what a comfort In comfort  In Memoriam A.H.H. had been.

The art of Tennyson's poetry As source material for his poetry, Tennyson used a wide range of subject matter ranging from medieval legends to classical myths and from domestic situations to observations of nature. The influence of John Keats and other Romantic poets  published before and during his childhood is evident from the richness of his imagery and descriptive writing. He also handled rhythm masterfully. The insistent beat of Break, Break, Breakemphasises the relentless sadness of the subject matter. Tennyson's use of the musical qualities of words to emphasize his rhythms and meanings is sensitive. The language of "I come from haunts of coot and herm" lilts and ripples like the brook in the poem and the last two lines of "Come down O maid from yonder mountain height" illustrate his telling combination of  onomatopoeia, alliteration,  onomatopoeia, alliteration, and  and assonance:  assonance: The moan of doves in immemorial elms And murmuring of innumerable i nnumerable bees. bees.

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Tennyson was a craftsman who polished and revised his manuscripts extensively, to the  point where his efforts at self-editing were described by his contemporary Robert Browning as "insane", symptomatic of "mental infirmity". Few poets have used such a variety of styles with such an exact understanding of  metre; of  metre; like  like many Victorian poets, he experimented in adapting the  the  quantitative metres of Greek and Latin poetry to English. He reflects the Victorian the Victorian period of his maturity in his feeling for order and his tendency towards moralizing. He also reflects a concern common among Victorian among  Victorian writers in being troubled by the conflict between religious faith and expanding scientific knowledge. Like many writers who write a great deal over a long time, his poetry is occasionally uninspired, but his personality rings throughout all his works. Tennyson possessed a strong poetic power, which his early readers often attributed to his "Englishness" and his masculinity. Well known among his longer works are Maud and Idylls of the King, the latter arguably the most famous Victorian adaptation of the legend of  King  King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. A Table.  A common thread of grief, melancholy, and loss connects much of his poetry (including Mariana, The Lotos Eaters, Tears, Idle Tears, In Memoriam), possibly reflecting Tennyson's own lifelong struggle with debilitating depression. T. S. Eliot famously described Tennyson as "the saddest of all English poets", whose technical mastery of verse and language provided a "surface" to his poetry's "depths, to the abyss of sorrow". Other poets such as W. H. Auden maintained a more critical stance, stating that Tennyson was the "stupidest" of all the English poets, adding that: "There was little about melancholia he didn't know; there was little else that he did."

Tennyson heraldry An heraldic achievement of Alfred, Lord Tennyson exists in an 1884 stained glass window in the Hall of  Trinity   Trinity College, Cambridge, showing Cambridge, showing arms: Gules, a bend nebuly or thereon a chaplet a chapletvert vert between three leopard's faces jessant-de-lys faces jessant-de-lys of the second; Crest: second; Crest:

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A dexter arm in armour the hand in a gauntlet or grasping a broken tilting spear enfiled with a garland of laurel; Supporters: laurel; Supporters: Two leopards Two leopards rampant guardant gules semée de lys and ducally crowned or; Motto: RespiciensProspiciens ("Looking backwards (is) looking forwards"). These are a difference of the arms of Thomas Tenison (1636 – 1715), 1715), Archbishop of Canterbury, themselves Canterbury,  themselves a difference of the arms of the 13th century Denys century Denys family of Glamorgan and Siston and Siston in Gloucestershire, themselves a difference of the arms of  Thomas  Thomas de Cantilupe (c. 1218 –  1218 –  1282), Bishop  1282), Bishop of Hereford, thenceforth Hereford,  thenceforth the arms of the Sea of Hereford; the Hereford; the name "Tennyson" signifies "Denys's son", although no connection  between the two families is recorded.

Partial list of works From Poems, Chiefly Lyrical (1830): o

“ Nothing Will Die” Die”


“All Things Will Die” Die”


“The Dying Swan” Swan”



The Kraken


Lady Clara Vere de Vere (1832)

From Poems (1833): The Lotos-Eaters



The Lady of Shalott “(1832, 1842) –  1842) –  three  three versions painted by J. by J. W. Waterhouse Waterhouse

(1888, 1894, and 1916) o

St. Simeon Stylites  (1833)

From Poems (1842): o



“Vision of Sin” Sin”

Locksley Hall


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The Two Voices  (1834)



‘"Ulysses" (1833) "Ulysses" (1833)

From The Princess; A Medley (1847) o

"The Princess"




 Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal  –   it later appeared as a song in the film Vanity Fair, with Fair, with musical arrangement by Mychael by Mychael Danna


"Tears, Idle Tears" Tears "

In Memoriam A.H.H. (1849)

Ring Out, Wild Bells (1850)

The Eagle (1851)

The Sister's Shame

From Maud; A Monodrama Monodrama (1855/1856) Maud



The Charge of the Light Brigade (1854) –  (1854) –  an   an early recording exists of Tennyson

reading this” this”. 

Idylls of the King (1859 – 1885) 1885)

From Enoch Arden and Other Poems (1862/1864) Enoch Arden



“The Brook –  Brook –  contains  contains the line "For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever" which inspired the naming of  a  a men's club in New York City.” City.”

Flower in the crannied wall (1869)

The Window –  Window –  Song  Song cycle with Arthur with Arthur Sullivan. (1871) Sullivan. (1871)

Harold (1876) –  (1876) –  began  began a revival of interest in King in King Harold

Idylls of the King (composed 1833 – 1874) 1874)

Montenegro (1877)

"Becket" (1884)

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Crossing the Bar (1889)

The Foresters –  Foresters –  a  a play with incidental with incidental music by music by Arthur  Arthur Sullivan (1891)

Kapiolani (published after his death by Hallam Tennyson)

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Chapter Three Victorian Poet: Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning The Victorian age is especially especially remarkable because of its rapid progress in all the arts and science and in Mechanical inventions. Victorian as is also known for the age of the Newspapers, the Magazine, and the modern novel. The first two being the story of the world’s daily world’s daily life and the last our pleasantest form of literary entertainment as well as our most successful method of  presenting modern modern problems and modern ideas. ideas. Victorian age is emphatically an age of realism rather than of romance not the realism of Zola and Ibsen but a deeper realism which strives to tell the whole truth, showing moral and physical diseases as they are, but holding up health and hope as t he normal condition of humanity. The two main poet are Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning. Among its treasures are still read with delight The Lotus, Palace of art, A dream of fair women, The millers daughters, and The Lady of Shallot. Tennyson was plunged into a period of gloom and sorrow. The sorrow may be read in the exquisite little poem beginning “Break,break, break, on thy cold gray stones, stones, o sea!” which sea!” which was his first published Elegy for his friend. Tennyson’s life Tennyson’s life is a remarkable one in this respect, that from beginning to end he seems to have  been dominated by a single impulse, the i mpulse of poetry. Tennyson was naturally shy, retiring, indifferent to men , hating noise and publicity, loving to be alone with nature. Tennyson was not only a man and a poet, he was a voice, the voice of a whole people , expressing in exquisite melody their doubts and their faith, their grief’s and their triumphs.• In the wonderful variety of his verse he suggests all the qualities of England’sgreed’s  England’sgreed’s  poets the dreaminess of Spenser. The majesty of Milton, Wordsworth, the fantasy of Black and Coleridge, the Melody of Keats, and Shelly. The narrative vigor of Scott and Byron. All these striking qualities are evident on successive pages of Tennyson’s poetry. Tennyson’s poetry. Tennyson’s Immature Tennyson’s Immature work, like that of the minor poets, is sometimes in a doubtful of despairing strain but his in memoriam is like the rainbow after storm, and Browning seems better to express

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the spirit of his age in the strong manly faith of “ Rabbi Ben Ezra”. And in the courageous optimism of all his poetry. It may be well to record two things, by way to suggestion , First , Tennyson’ Tennyson’s poetry is not so much to be studied as to t o be read and appreciated; he is a poet to have open on one’s table one’s table , and to enjoy ‘ as oneenjoys oneenjoys his daily exercise. Andsecond we should by all means begin to get acquainted, with Tennyson in get days of our youth. Tennyson had publishing poetry .since 1827, his first poems appearing almost simultaneously with the last work of Byron, Shelly and Keats. In 1842- The Princes and Maud, In 1847- The Princess, a medley, A long poem of over there thousand lines of blank verse. “Tears, Idle, tears”, tears” , “Bugle song” and “sweet and law”. In 1855- Maud; this is called in literature a monodrama, telling the story of a lover who passes from horridness to ecstasy, then to anger and murder, followed by insanity i nsanity and recovery. The most loved of all Tennyson’s Tennyson’s works is “L “Lin Memoriam”. “The Idylls of the king” is among the greatest greatest of Tennyson’s later works. His another collection of poems called “English Idylls” in 1842, In this collection collecti on there

Dora, The Gardeners Daughter,

Ulysses , Locksley and Sir

Galahad. One of the most famous of this series series is “Enoch Arden” . Tennyson’s later volumes, like the “Ballads” and “Demeter  “ Other poems like “The change of  the light Brigade” “wages “and “and “The Higher pantheism”. We find that it has many sources:i.e. Robert Browning (1812 –  (1812  – 1889) 1889) The poet’s thought is often obscure or else so extremely subtle that language expresses it imperfectly.Browning is led from one thing to another by his own mental associations and forgets that readers associations may be an entirely different kind.Browning is careless in his English and frequently clips in hisspeech, giving us a He does not like so many other an entertainingseries of ejaculation. poet, one cannot read himafter dinner or whom settled in a comfortable comfortable easy-chair, one must sit up andthink and be alert when he reads Browning. In the end we can say that Browning’s place in our literature  literature   will be better appreciated by comparison with his friend Tennyson.Whom we just studied in one respect, especially in their methodsof approaching the truth, the two men are the exact oppositesTennyson is the first artist 31 | P a g e

and then the teacher, but with Browningthe message is always the important thing, and he is careless, toocareless, toocareless, of the form in which it is expressed. expressed.

The Age of Tennyson And Browning “Poets”,

said Shelley,

"not otherwise than philosophers,



andmusicians, are in one sense the creators and in another, the creations of their ages”/ Contemporary conventions and inherited traditions do matter. This utterance of Shelley holds good in the case of Tennyson: he is a creator as well as a creation of the Victorian Age in the true sense of the words. words. Whereas Robert Browning is an exception, he stands free from the literary conventions and the socio-economicconditions of his age, rather he, in the words of R. S. Sharma, is a significant precursor of the modems. Almost the Victorian as well as moderncritics and reviewers agree that Tennyson is the most representative literary man of his age. There is an obvious correspondence between his work and his world while Browning’s poetry does not show the essential co -relation  between the environment and its product. To highlight out this difference it is i s inevitable to have a look upon the salient features of the Victorian Era.

Broadly speaking the year 1832 marks the beginning of this period, although the reign of Victoria expands from1837 to 1901. When Victoria became the queen, the Romantic Movement had spent its force, because the three leading lights of it were swallowed up by the damp darkness of death. Dyke states this situation thus: “the brief,  bright light of Keats went out at Rome,... the waters of Spezzia’s Spezzi a’s treacherous treacher ous bay closed over the head of Shelley;... the wild flame of Byron’s heart burned away burned  away at Missolonghi. The new leaders were dead; the old leaders were silent.” ^ Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey were alive and still writing poetry but as a matter of fact, they had done their  best works already. alread y. And it seemed as if there was no great writer writer in England. “About this

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time English poetry had relapsed into one of those intervals of depression that preceSe a fresh rise.... A new impulse was needed to lift it, and to break in upon the dullness ... This flat and open space gave Tennyson a fair start upon the course.” His first poems appeared in 1827. Browning started writing earlier but itwas not until 1833 that he published his Pauline. Their works marked the beginning ofthe literary glory of a new age,Historically the period is remarkable for the growth of democracy following the Reform Bill of 1832; for the spread of education among all classes as a result of the establishment of a national system of schools; for important mechanical inventions ranging vastly from spinning loom to steam-boat and from matches to electric lights; for the rapid development of the arts and sciences and for the extension of the bounds of human knowledge by the discoveries of science. Economically the era is a veiy prosperous one. With the inventions in steel and machinery, machinery, England had become '‘the workshop of the worid.” ^ The rise in wealth gave rise to materialism. Though the age is very practical and materialistic, .it is an age of comparative peace too; The reason being that with the increase in wealth, grov^h of trade and of friendly foreign relations, it became evident that question of justice is never settled  by fighting. The English people began to think more of their moral evils and less of false glitter of fighting. Tennyson belittled the tendency of materialism and exalted the ideal of peace in the following lines of In Memoriam: Ring out old shapes of foul disease; Ring out the narrowing lust of gold, Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace.

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While Tennyson was busy in combining the Victorian ideals with the metric form of expression, Browning popularised the Renaissance ideal of the world. Towards the end of his famous poem “ Fra Lippo Lippi”, he said : This world’s no blot for us.  Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good: good: To find its meaning is my meat and drink.

Politically it is an age of democracy. Because the primitive dream of personalliberty, seen by the nglo-Saxons, materialized into reality in the form of great Reform Bill of 1832. The right to vote was given to every individual regardless of caste, creedand colour yet women were still straggling for it. The whole body of people electedtheir representatives who were accountable for their actions before the authority ofParliament. Thus the doctrine of of the Divine Right of King was of no avail and theHouse of Commons became the ruling power in England. A series of new reformthe  prevention of child labour; the freedom of the press; the establishment ofhundreds of schools; the abolition of restrictions against Catholics in Parliament; theemancipation of all slaves in all English colonies proclaimed the progress ofcivilisation in a single half century.Tennyson expressed his political faith and praisedhis country in the following lines: A land of settled government;

A Land ofjust and old renown; Where Freedom slowly broadens down From precedent to precedent: Tho’ Power should make from land to land The name of Britain trebly great__ Tho’ every channel of the State

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Should fill and choke with golden sand_

On the other hand. Browning, who has chosen t o make his dwelling in Italy, love with his adopted country

Sociologically the question of equal rights for both the sexes gained ground.In the Victorian times a woman’s world worl d was limited to her home and the sole purposeof her life was thought to look after her family members. With the passage of time andadvance of democracy women were given political rights.The movement for women’semancipation took strength and the problems of sex and married life received increasing attention from scholars and writers of the day. Hardy’s Tess o f the d ’Urbervilles, Ibsen’s A Doll's House and Ruskin’s lecture, “Of Queens’ Gordons” areglaring examples of it. Tennyson  pondered over this social question and gave answer in the shape of his long poem, The Princess, a Medley,Lyall comments upon it thus; “there is a romantic tale, with the Idea of a Female University for its theme and plot, and for its moral the sure triumph of the natural affections over any feminine attempt to ignore them, or to work out women’s independence by a kind of revolt from the established intellectual dominion of man”/ Tennyson’s findings agreed with the social convictions of his age:

Man for the field and woman for the hearth, Man for the sword and for the needle she, Man with the head and woman vAth the heart Man to command and woman to obey.

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In The Encyclopaedia Briiannica this poem is mentioned as “a singular anti-feminist anti -feminist fantasia”. Whether Tennyson’s statement about woman’s cause is right or wrong, is a separate issue. The point to note is that this burning issue is made the groundwork of some very fine poetry by Tennyson. In Browning’s poetiy there are many female characters__ the Duchess in “My Last Duchess” ,  ,   the lady in 'The Last RideTogethef'\ Lucrezia in “Andrea del Sorto”; Pompilia in The Ring and the Book andPippa in Pippa Passesbut they never indulge in such a debate, which was then strongly agitating the  public mind.

Spiritually the encroachments of agnostic science created a state of crisis for the age. It was a time “which was acutely time-conscious: time-conscious: a great many things seemed to be happening, railways were being built, discoveries were being made, the face of the world was changing. That was a time busy in keeping up to date. It had, for the most part, no hold on permanent things, on permanent truths about man and God and life and death”. Science overturned many old conceptions yielding place to new ones: the mechanistic view of the universe and the theory of Evolution were propounded. They not only revolutionized the conceptions of physical science and natural historybut also cast doubts about Christian dogmas regarding the creation of man and constitution of the world. Man was no longer ‘a divine creature’ and cosmos ‘the holy plan’ holy plan’ of God. This skepticism took strong hold of Tennyson’s imaginative mind. In a  hyponotic state he started obstinate questioning: Is man subject to general law of mutability, mere clay in the mounding hands that are darkly seen in the creation of worlds? He asked: Shall man Who loved, who suffered countless ills,

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Who battled for the Truth, the just,

Be blown about the desert dust.

Or seal’d within the iron hills?

{I nMe nM emor i am}

On the other hand, there was calm and serenity on the mental horizon of Browning. He  believed unquestionably in the existence of God controlling the manifold energies of the world. “I build my faith on God ! Thou art Love that / God is the sustaining and  perfecting power”. According to Browning, the imperfections of man’s world are evidence of the perfection of God . He believed that Man is more akin to God than to “dogs’and “apes”. And Man’s soul is immortal: Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure: What entered into thee.

That was, is , and shall be Time’s wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure. {Rabbi Ben Ezra} The people in the Victorian period were in a spiritual dilemma: whether to follow  blindly Christian theology or to believe what Darwin, Huxley and other scientists said. Tennyson gave intensity of expression to the prevailing doubt in the following  paradoxical lines of In Memoriam\ ‘There lives more faith in honest doubt,/ Believe me, than in h^f the creeds”. Whereas “the poetic mind of Browning evol ved against the

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 background of Victorian skepticism, skepticism, change and conflict”. He presented an optimistic vision of the world, which was very opposite to the state of affairs. Generally, the literature of the period revealed the following characteristics: Firstly, it became very close to common life, reflecting its practical problems and interests. Tennyson felt that the artist’s responsibility is to speak out on the problems of his contemporary world. His poem, “Locksley Hall”, deals with the facts and feelings  of everyday life and in just two hundred lines nearly every public issue of the day is mentioned: the increased importance of money and social position, the progress of science and popular education, the commercial competition among nations, opportunity in an expanding British empire, ‘ a hungry people’ at home whereas London lights up the night sky ‘ like a dreary dawn’.^* His famous poem “ Enoch Arden” is esteemed as Odyssey of humble mariners’  by Lyall due to its revelation of vigour and heroism in common people. Whereas Browning showed a preference for historical subjects and finds his materials for poetry firm the annals of history.

All great writers Tennyson, Carlyle, Arnold, Ruskin, Dickens were the teachers of England. Quite astonishingly Browning affirmed this feature of his age. He was so completely, so consciously, so magnificently a teacher of man and had always a moral ready. His Andrea expresses his belief in the Next World where man can fulfill his unrealized desires and aspirations thus:

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for? (“Andrea del Sarto”)

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Comparatively, when we analyze Tennyson and Browning who came of the same age, the influence of contemporary world is grater on the former. “For nearly half a century he was not only a man and poet; he was a voice, the voice of a whole people. In reflecting the restless spirit of his progressive age he is as remarkable as Pope was in voicing the artificialities of the early eighteenth century”. While Browning is ent irely a different case, he mostly reflected the middle ages and his poetry is said to be steeped in the atmosphere of Italian Renaissance. Whereas his grotesque style, irritating parentheses, faulty grammar, bad punctuation, broken threads of thought brought him closer to the modem poets. Amid a plurality of writers Tennyson, Arnold, Clough who were strongly anguished by moral and spiritual crises of the time, he maintained his individuality by keeping himself aloof from the “zeiigeist” zeiigeist”. And it is a sufficient eulogy for Browning.

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Chapter Four Brief summary of some major poems of Browning: Rabbi Ben Ezra The poem is narrated by Rabbi by Rabbi Ben Ezra, a Ezra, a real 12th-century scholar. The piece does not have a clearly identified audience or dramatic situation. The Rabbi begs his audience to "grow old along with [him]" (line 1). He stresses that age is where the best of life is realized, whereas "youth shows but half" (line 6). He acknowledges that youth lacks insight into life, since it is characteristically so concerned with living in the moment that it is unable to consider the deeper questions. Though youth will fade, what replaces it is the wisdom and insight of age, which recognizes that pain is a part of life, but which learns to appreciate joy more because of the pain. "Be our joys three parts pain!" (line 34). All the while, one should appreciate what comes, since all adds to our growth towards God, and embrace the "paradox" that life's failure brings success. He notes how, when we are young and our bodies are strong, we aspire to impossible greatness, and he explains that this type of action makes man into a "brute" (line 44). With age comes acceptance and love of the flesh, even though it pulls us "ever to the earth" (line 63), while some yearn to reach a higher plane. A wise, older man realizes that all things are gifts from God, and the flesh's limitations are to be appreciated even as we recognize them as limitations. His reason for begging patience is that our life on Earth is but one step of our soul's experience, and so our journey will continue. Whereas youth is inclined to "rage" (line 100), age is inclined to await death patiently. Both are acceptable and wonderful, and each compliments the other.

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What complicates the philosophy is that we are wont to disagree with each other, to have different values and loves. However, the Rabbi begs that we not give too much credence to the earthly concerns that engender argument and dissention, and trust instead that we are given by God and hence are fit for this struggle. The transience of time does not matter, since this is only one phase of our existence; we need not grow anxious about disagreements and unrealized goals, since the ultimate truth is out of our reach anyway. Again, failure breeds success. He warns against being distracted by the "plastic circumstance" (line 164) of the present moment. He ends by stressing that all is part of a unified whole, even if we cannot glimpse the whole. At the same time that age should approve of youth and embrace the present moment, it must also be constantly looking upwards towards a heaven to come and hence simultaneously willing to renounce the present.

Fra Lippo Lippi The poem begins as the painter and monk Lippo Lippi, also the poem's narrator, is caught  by some authority figures while roving his town's red light district. As he begins, he is  being physically accosted by one of the police. He accuses them of being overzealous and that he need not be punished. It is not until he name-drops "Cosimo of the Medici" (from the ruling family of Florence) as a nearby friend that he is released. He then addresses himself specifically to the band's leader, identifying himself as the famous painter and then suggesting that they are all, himself included, too quick to bow down to what authority figures suggest. Now free, he suggests that the listener allow his subordinates to wander off to their own devices. Then he tells how he had been busy the  past three weeks shut up in his room, until he heard a band of merry mer ry revelers revel ers passing passi ng by and used a ladder to climb down to the streets to pursue his own fun. It was while

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engaged in that fun that he was caught, and he defends himself to the judgmental listener, asking "what am I a beast for?" for? " if not to pursue his beastly appetites. It is then that Lippo begins to tell his life story. He was orphaned while still a baby and starved until his aunt gave him over to a convent. When the monks there asked if he was willing to renounce the world in service of monk-hood, Lippo was quick to agree since renouncing the world meant a steady supply of food in the convent. He quickly took to the "idleness" of a monk's life, even at eight years old, but was undistinguished in any of the studies they had him attempt. His one talent was the ability to recreate the faces of individuals through drawings,  partially because as a starving child he was given great insight into the details that distinguished one face from another and the way those faces illustrated different characteristics. Instead of studying in the convent, he devoted himself to doodles and drawings, until the Prior noticed his talent and assigned him to be the convent's artist. As the convent's artist, Lippo proceeded to paint a myriad of situations, all drawn from the real world. The common monks loved his work since in his artistry they could recognize images from their everyday lives. However, "the Prior and the learned" do not admire Lippo's focus on realistic subjects, instead insisting that the artist's job is not to  pay "homage to the perishable clay" of flesh and body, but to transcend the body and attempt to reveal the soul. They insist that he paint more saintly images, focusing on representations of praise and saintliness instead of everyday reality. Lippo protests to his listener that a painter can reveal the soul through representations of the body, since "simple beauty" is "about the best thing God invents." Lippo identifies this as the main conflict of his otherwise-privileged life: where he wants to paint things as they are, his masters insist he paint life from a moral perspective. As much as he hates it, he must acquiesce to their wishes in order to stay successful, and hence he must go after

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 prostitutes and other unsavory activity, like the one he was caught involved in at poem's  beginning. As a boy brought up poor and in love with life, he cannot so easily e asily forget his artistic impulse to represent life as he sees it to be. He then speaks to the listener about what generations of artists owe one another and how an artist who breaks new ground must always flaunt the conventions. He mentions a  painter named Hulking Tom who studies under him, who Lippo believes will further reinvent artistic practice in the way he himself has done through pursuing realism. He poses to his listener the basic question whether it is better to "paint [things] just as they are," or to try to improve upon God's creations. He suggests that even in reproducing nature, the artist has the power to help people to see objects that they have taken for granted in a new light. He grows angry thinking of how his masters ruin the purpose of art, but quickly apologies before he might anger the policeman. He then tells his listener about his plan to please both his masters and himself. He is  planning to paint a great piece of religious reli gious art that will show God, the Madonna, and "of course a saint or two." However, in the corner of the painting, he will include a picture of himself watching the scene. He then fantasizes fantas izes aloud how a "sweet angelic angeli c slip of a thing" will address him in the painting, praising his talent and authorship, until the "hothead husband" comes and forces Lippi to hide away in the painting. Lippo bids goodbye to his listener and heads back home.

 Andrea del Sarto This dramatic monologue is narrated by Renaissance painter  Andrea   Andrea del Sarto to his wife Lucrezia.  Lucrezia.  They live in Florence. Andrea begs Lucrezia that they end a quarrel over whether the painter should sell his paintings to a friend of his wife's. He acquiesces to her wish and promises he will give her the money if she will only hold his hand and sit with him by the window from which they can survey Florence.

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He admits to feeling a deep melancholy, in which "a common grayness silvers everything" (line 35), and hopes she can pull him from it. He tells her that if she were to smile for him, he would be able to pull himself from such sadness. Andrea considers himself a failure as an artist, both because Lucrezia has lost her "first pride" (line 37) in him and because he has only one talent: the ability to create faultless paintings. Though many praise him for creating flawless reproductions, which he admits he does easily, with "no sketches first, no studies" (line 68), Andrea is aware that his work lacks the spirit and soul that bless his contemporaries Rafael and Michel Agnolo (Michelangelo). Considering himself only a "craftsman" (line 82), he knows they are able to glimpse heaven whereas he is stuck with earthly inspirations. He surveys a painting that has been sent to him and notes how it has imperfections he could easily fix, but a "soul" (line 108) he could never capture. He begins to blame Lucrezia for denying him the soul that could have made him great, and while he forgives her for her beauty, he accuses her of not having brought a "mind" (line 126) that could have inspired him. He wonders whether what makes his contemporaries great is their lack of a wife. Andrea then reminisces on their past. Long before, he had painted for a year in France for the royal court, producing work of which both he and Lucrezia were proud. But when she grew "restless" (line 165), they set off for Italy, where they bought a nice house with the money and he became a less inspired artist. However, he contemplates that it could have gone no other way, since fate intended him to be with Lucrezia, and he hopes future generations will forgive him his choices. As evidence of his talent, he recalls how Michelangelo once complimented his talent to Rafael, but quickly loses that excitement as he focuses on the imperfections of the  painting in front of him and his own failings. He begs Lucrezia to stay with him more

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often, sure that her love will inspire him to greater achievements, and he could thereby "earn more, give [her] more" (line 207). Lucrezia is called from outside, by her cousin, who is implicitly her lover, and Andrea  begs her to stay. He notes that the cousin has "loans" (line 221) that need paying, and says he will pay those if she stays. She seems to decline the offer and to insist she will leave. In the poem's final section, Andrea grows melancholy again and insists he does "regret little… would change still less" (line 245). He justifies having fled France and sold out his artistic integrity and praises himself for his prolific faultless paintings. He notes again that Lucrezia is a part of his failure, but insists that she was his choice. Finally, he gives her leave to go to her cousin.

My Last Duchess "My Last Duchess" is narrated by the duke of Ferrara to an envoy (representative) of another nobleman, whose daughter the duke is soon to marry. These details are revealed throughout the poem, but understanding them from the opening helps to illustrate the irony that Browning employs. At the poem's opening, the duke has just pulled back a curtain to reveal to the envoy a  portrait of his previous duchess. The portrait was painted by Fra Pandolf, a monk and  painter whom the duke believes captured the singularity of the duchess's glance. However, the duke insists to the envoy that his former wife’s deep, passionate glance was not reserved solely for her husband. As he puts it, she was "too easily impressed" into sharing her affable nature. His tone grows harsh as he recollects how both human and nature could impress her, which insulted him since she did not give special favor to the "gift" of his "nine-hundredyears-old" family name and lineage. Refusing to deign to "lesson" her on her unacceptable love of everything, he instead "gave commands" to have her killed.

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The duke then ends his story and asks the envoy to rise and accompany him back to the count, the father of the duke's impending bride and the envoy's employer. He mentions that he expects a high dowry, though he is happy enough with the daughter herself. He insists that the envoy walk with him "together"  –  a   a lapse of the usual social expectation, where the higher ranked person would walk separately  –  and   and on their descent he points out a bronze bust of the god Neptune in his collection.

 A Grammarian's Funeral The speaker of this poem is a disciple of an accomplished grammarian who has recently died. It begins with the speaker instructing others to help him "carry up this corpse" (line 1) so they can bury him high "o n a tall mountain… crowded with culture" (lines 15 -16), far above normal human life down on "the unlettered plain with its herd and crop" (line 13). The speaker gives a eulogy for their master, telling how "he lived nameless" (line 35) in  pursuit of mastering his studies, which focused on Greek grammar. He was willing to sacrifice his youth and ruin his body, aging extremely quickly, in the process ignoring "men's pity" over his choice (line 44). The 44).  The grammarian put grammarian put off "actual life" (line 57) until he could know everything there was to know about his field, believing such mastery would give him a true understanding of life. As the funeral party reaches the gates of the town where they wish to bury him, the narrator again praises his master for a life that had "no end to learning" (line 78) and that was willing to forgo the "NOW" (line 83) of life for the "forever" (line 84) of true understanding. Even as his health continued to decline, the grammarian remained ambitious towards mastering his field, until he finally died. The party reaches its it s spot, and the speaker commends the grammarian's body as one "loftier than the world suspects" as the world continues "living and dying" d ying" (lines 147-148).

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Brief summary of some major poems of Tennyson:

Ulysses Ulysses complains that he is “idle” as a king, home with his elderly his  elderly wife, stuck passing enlightened laws for a “savage race” that sleeps and eats but does not know him. He does not want to cease his travels; he has made the most of his life, having suffered and experienced pleasure both with others and alone and both at sea and on the shore. He is a famous name; he has seen the world and has been honored everywhere. He also has enjoyed battling at Troy with his fellow warriors. He is “a part of all that I have met,” but this is not the end, for his experience is an archway to new experiences, with the horizon always beyond reach. It is boring to stop and wither away and be useless in his old age; simply breathing is not life. Multiple lives would be too little to get the most out of existence, and little of his one life remains, but at least he is alive and there is time for “something more.” It would be a shame to do nothing for even three days; he does not want to store himself away. His “gray spirit” yearns to attain knowledge and follow it “like a sinking star, /  Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.” In contrast, his son Telemachus, who will succeed him as king, seems content to stay put and simply rule the people. Ulysses loves him and knows that he will use his prudence to govern wisely, turning the “rugged” people “mild,” and he is “blameless” and “decent” in his “common duties.” He honors the family’s gods. Yet, Telemachus does not have his father’s energy; “He works his work, I mine.” Ulysses looks at the port and the sea beyond, calling to him. He reca lls “the thunder and the sunshine” of his mariners’ exciting travels together, their “free hearts” and free minds, and understands that he and they are old now. Yet, they still can do something noble and suited to their greatness, especiall y as they are men who once fought with gods. 47 | P a g e

Light fades, and the day wanes. Ulysses calls out that it is not too late to discover a “newer world.” They can leave this shore and sail beyond the sunset, exploring until he dies. Perhaps they even will reach the Happy Isles and meet Achilles. Although they are weak in age, much vigor remains; they still have “heroic hearts” which are “strong in will” and want to persevere, to explore and discover and never give up.

Morte d'Arthur First, a poem frames “Morte d’Arthur,” entitled “The Epic.” The speaker says he is gathered at the home of Francis Allen on Christmas Eve. Also there are the parson, Holmes; the poet, Everard poet, Everard Hall; and Hall; and the host. They gather around the wassail-bowl (hot mulled cider) and discuss how the honor seems gone from Christmas. The speaker is tired from his day of ice-skating and falling, and he dozes off, waking to the parson lamenting the general lack of faith throughout the world. Francis jokes and says he holds faith in Everard, and Everard responds by saying he has faith in the cider. The speaker asks Everard what became of his great gift of poetry that was so evident in college, and Francis says that Everard had been working on twelve books about King about  King Arthur but Arthur  but threw them into the fire. It seems that Everard thought “nothing new was said” and the books were mere “Homeric echoes, nothingnothing -worth.” Francis says he has saved one book from the fire. The speaker’s ears prick up, and he remembers the talent of his friend. After some urging, the poet begins to read. The noise of battle goes on all day. All of the men of the Round Table have fallen in Lyonesse. King Arthur has also been wounded, and his last knight,  Sir Bedivere, brings Bedivere, brings him to a chapel near the field in the “barren land.” The King speaks to Bedivere about the severing of the company of knights, the men he loved, and how they will never talk again of lordly deeds in Camelot. He tells Bedivere to take his sword Excalibur, which he had received from a white arm clothed in samite reaching up from the waters of the lake, and

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fling it back into the middle of the water. Bedivere is to watch what happened and then return. Bedivere hesitates at leaving his lord, but obeys him. He passes by the place of the tombs of ancient men illuminated by moonlight and draws near the lake. He unsheathes Excalibur and gazes long at the sparkling, jeweled hilt. He finds he cannot throw it in the water and hides it in the waterflags about the marge. When he returns Arthur asks him if he performed the mission and what he saw. Bedivere replies, “I heard the ripple washing in the reeds, / And the wild water lapping on the crag.” Arthur is angry because he knows Bedivere did not do what he asked. He tells him that he has betrayed his nature and his name and that he must go back and try again. Bedivere returns to the water’s edge. He wonders aloud how he could throw away something so precious and worthy; what good would come from this? He knows it is wrong to disobey, but he thinks that Arthur may not be in his right mind because he is ill. The sword should be kept in a treasure-house and be shown off at a joust of arms. Bedivere, “clouded with his own conceit,” hides Excalibur and returns to Arthur. When asked the same question as before, Bedivere gives the same answer. Arthur, filled with wrath, calls him “miserable and unkind, untrue, / Unknightly, traitor traitor hearted!” He excoriates Bedivere for betraying him for a “precious hilt” and “lust of gold” and threatens to slay him if he does not follow his orders. This time Bedivere returns to the lake and immediately throws the sword out into the center of the lake. An arm, clad in white samite, reaches up mysteriously and catches the sword by the hilt, drawing it below the surface of the water. Bedivere is astonished. When he returns, Arthur knows by his eyes that the task is completed and asks what the knight saw. Bedivere replies that he saw a great miracle he shall never forget, and he describes the arm. The King begins to breathe more laboriously and says he knows his

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death is near. He asks Bedivere to shoulder him, and the knight helps prop him up. The King looks about wistfully. Bedivere wants to speak to him but is too sad and does not have the words. He bears the King to the place of t ombs.

As the King walks he pants hard from the duress. Bedivere tries as hard as he can to take the King to his resting place before he perishes. They finally arrive at the shore and see a “dusky barge,” dark and mournful. Three elegant Queens with gold crowns wait onboard and cry in one voice a moan of agony. This lamentation is like the wind “that shrills / All night in a waste land.” Arthur   asks to be placed in the barge, and Bedivere complies. Arthur lays his head in the lap of the fairest Queen, and she loosens his casque (helmet) and calls him by his name. Her tears drop on his bloody pale face. He lies like a “shatter’d column,” very much muc h unlike the heroic figure he once cut.

Sir Bedivere calls out in despair, “Whither shall I go?” The whole Round Table is dissolved, and the old times are dead; he is the last one left, companionless and unmoored. Arthur answers slowly from the barge that, indeed, “the old order changeth, yielding yielding place to new,” yet Bedivere should not place his comfort only in Arthur, as he is departing from this world. Bedivere ought to pray for Arthur’s soul, since “More things are wrought by prayer / Than this world dreams of.” Arthur is going a long way to t he island-valley of Avilion, which is free of rain and snow and full of flowers and peaceful fields. There he will heal from his “grievous wound.” The barge pushes off, and Bedivere stands on the shore, filled with memories. The ship sails into the horizon.

“The Epic” resumes. Hall ends his tale, and the men sit, rapt with attention. The speaker wonders if the work’s modern touches were what made it so memorable, or maybe it was

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 just that t hat they loved l oved the poet himself. The cock crows in the night, mistaking the hour for dawn. When they all go to bed the speaker in dreams “seem’d / To sail with Arthur under looming shores.” He hears people cry out that Arthur was come again and that he cannot die. In the dreams the speaker hears bells, and he wakes to hear the real church bells signaling Christmas morning.

The Lotos-Eaters Lotos-Eaters Ulysses tells his men to have courage, for they will get to land soon. It seems like it is always afternoon there, and the languid air breathes like a dream. A “slender stream” trickles off a cliff. Other streams (this is a land of streams) roll throughout the land. Three snow-topped peaks gleam in the sunset, covered with pine trees topped with dew. As the sun sets, they see a dale and meadow far inland. Here everything seems always to be the same. Dark but pale faces are set against a  backdrop of “rosy flame”; they possess melancholy smiles and mild eyes. They are the Lotos-Eaters. They carry branches heavy with flower and stem and give them to the men. When the men taste these flowers and fruits they hear a rushing of waves, and if their companion speaks, their voice sounds far away, as if from the grave. The men sit on the sand “between the sun and moon.” It is pleasant to think of one’s home and one’s family, but every one of them is weary of the sea and the oar and the fields of foam. One of them says that they will never return, and all of them sing together, “our island home / Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.” In the “Choric Song,” sweet music falls, softer than petals dropping or night dew resting on walls of granite. It is gentle on the sprit and brings gentle sleep. In this place are soft  beds of mosses and flowers floating on streams. A speaker asks why they are weighed upon with a feeli ng of heaviness and why they must  be consumed with distress dist ress when it is natural for all things to have rest. He wonders why

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they should “toil alone” when they are the “first of things.” They go They  go from one sorrow to another and wander ceaselessly, without listening to their inner spirit that tells them, “There is no joy but calm!” In the middle of the wood a folded leaf is coaxed out from a bud by the wind; it grows green in the sun and is moistened by the night dew before it turns yellow and falls to the ground. An apple is “sweeten’d in the summer light” and drops to the ground. When its time is up, a flower ripens and falls. falls . It never experiences toil. The dark blue sky is “hateful.” Death is the end of a life, but why should life be only labor? Time will continue on, but they want to be left alone. They want to have peace and do as other things do, to ripen and go to the grave. They want “long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.” It is sweet to dream on and on, listening to the whispers of others and eating the Lotos every day. They watch the rippling sea and let their minds wholly turn to “mild -mannered melancholy.” The faces of their past are buried as in urns. Memories of their wedded wedded lives are dear to them, but by now changes must have occurred. The hearths are cold, and their sons are now the masters. They would look strange and come “like ghosts to trouble joy.” Other island princes may have taken their places while minstrels sing of the great deeds of those at Troy. If things are broken, they should remain that way. It is more difficult to  bring order back and impart confusion, which is worse than death. Their hearts are wear y, and their eyes grow dim. Here, however, they are lying on soft earthen beds with sweet warm air blowing on them; they watch rivers moving slowly and hear echoes from cave to cave. The Lotos blooms  by the peak and blows by the creek, and their spicy spic y dust blows about. The men have had enough action and enough motion. They want to swear an oath to live forever in the Lotos-land Lotos-land and recline like Gods together, “careless of mankind.”

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Like Gods they can look over wasted lands and see the trials and travails of men: ”blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery / sands,” but here they smile and listen to the music of lamentation from the “ill -used race of men” who labor and suffer and die. The men in the Lotos-land rest their tired limbs and find sleep more  pleasant than work or toil at sea or the wind and waves. The speaker tells his fellow mariners to rest because they will “wander no more.”

The Palace of Art This poem has a great deal to do with the theme of identity, and in particular with the desire of the speaker of this poem to isolate himself in a world of art, private sensation and stasis. The poem focuses on the conflict that is present in many of Tennyson's works, the conflict between art and statis and life and society. The speaker at the beginning of the  poem desires to create a "lordly pleasure house" for his soul so it can dwell in a make believe world of aesthetic beauty and where art can rival nature in terms of its  presentation. This is an egotistical wish, as the soul is depicted as only being able to thrive when it is separated from social forces and demands. The identity of the speaker is defined by how socially isolated he is, but this means that his variouis social needs are not  being met. Ironicall y, focusing so greatly greatl y on the soul s oul and establishing the t he "Palace of Art" means that the soul is ultimately not satisfied but is only impoverished. Note how this is signalled towards the end of the poem: So when four years were wholly finishèd, She threw her royal robes away. 'Make me a cottage in the vale,' she said, 'Where I may mourn and pray.' The speaker thus rejects the Palace of Art and seeks a place where she can repent and reengage with life as it really is, rather than having to surround the soul with foms of art that only imitate reality. The poem then is concerned with identity in relation to society, and whether it is possible to pursue an identity or a conception of self which is defined by

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its isolation to society or whether identity is something that is inextricably intertwined with society. It is interesting that the speaker at the end of the poem, whilst she expresses the wish to leave her life in the Palace of Art, she does state that she does not want it destroyed, in case she chooses to return their later on. This indicates an ambiguity in Tennyson's argument about identity: he does not come down on either side, suggesting  perhaps, that the soul might need its time of isolation and separation separation from society at large.

I n Me M emor i am In Memoriam” is often considered Tennyson’s greatest poetic achievement. It is a stunning and profoundly moving long poem consisting of a prologue, 131 cantos/stanzas, and an epilogue. It was published in 1850, but Tennyson began writing the individual  poems in 1833 after learning that his closest friend, the young Cambridge poet Arthur Henry Hallam, had suddenly died at age 22 of a cerebral hemorrhage. Over the course of seventeen years Tennyson worked on and revised the poems, but he did not initially intend to publish them as one long work. When he prepared “In Memoriam” (initially planning on calling it “The Way of the Soul”) for publication, Tennyson placed the poems in an order to suit the major thematic  progressions of the t he work; thus, the poems as published are not in the order in which they were written. Even with the reordering of the poems, there is no single unified theme. Grief, loss and renewal of faith, survival, and other themes compete with one another. The work is notoriously difficult, and it is unclear how much other poets have appreciated it. T.S. Eliot stated that it is “the most unapproachable of all [Tennyson’s] poems.” Charlotte Bronte commented that she closed it halfway through, and that “it is beautiful; it is mournful; it is monotonous.” The poem has also brought tremendous comfort to those who seek within its lines a way to assuage and eventually come out of their grief.

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Queen Victoria famously told Tennyson that it was much comfort to her after her husband, Prince Albert, passed away. The poem partly belongs to the genre of elegy, which is a poem occasioned by the death of a person. The standard elegy includes ceremonial mourning for the deceased, extolling his virtues, and seeking consolation for his death. Other famous elegies, to which In Memoriam is often compared, include John Milton’s Lycidas, Lycidas, Shelley’s Adonais, and Wordsworth’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” The epilogue is also an epithalamion, or a classical wedding celebration poem. The stanzas of the poems have uneven lengths but have a very regular poetic meter. The style, which Tennyson used to such great effect that it is now called the “In “ In Memoriam stanza,” consists of tetrameter quatrains rhymed abba. The lines are short, and the rhythm is strict, which imparts a sense of stasis as well as labor to move from one line to the next. In terms of structure, Tennyson once remarked that the poem was organized around the three celebrations of Christmas that occur. Other scholars point to different forms of structure. According to scholars A.C. Bradley and E.D.H. Johnson, cantos 1-27 are poems of despair/ungoverned sense/subjective; cantos 28-77 are poems of mind governing sense/despair/objective; mind/doubt/subjective;

cantos and






poems spirit




governing sense


spirit/objective. In terms of the structure struct ure of Tennyson’s thoughts on the meaning of  poetry, the scholars find a four-part division: poetry as release from emotion, poetry as release from thought, poetry as self-realization, and poetry as mission/prophecy. Canto 95 is seen, from this view, as the climax of the poem. The most conspicuous theme in the poem is, of course, grief. The poet’s emotional  progression from utter despair to hopefulness fits into the structure observed by the scholars. The early poems are incredibly personal and bleak. Tennyson feels abandoned

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and lost. He cannot sleep and personifies the cruelty of Sorrow, “Priestess in the vaults of Death.” He wonders if poetry is capable of expressing his loss. He wanders by his friend’s old house, sick with sadness. Memory is oppressive. Nature oppressive. Nature herself seems hostile, chaotic. His grief has a concomitant c oncomitant in a lack of religious faith. However, as the poems proceed, the poet begins to grapple with his grief and find ways to move beyond it. He learns, as scholar Joseph Becker writes, to “experience deeper layers of grief so that he may transcend the limitations of time and space that Hallam’s death represents.” He has learned to love better and embrace his sorrow, which he now  personifies as a wife, not a mistress. He learns that Hallam, while once his flesh-and blood friend whom he misses dearly, is now a transcendent spiritual being, something the human race can aspire to become. Although Tennyson will never fully recover from the loss of Hallam, he can move forward; the wedding of his other sister establishes this result for him. One of the reasons why the poem is so lauded by critics is its engagement with some contemporary Victorian religious and scientific debates and discourses. Tennyson is dealing not only with his sorrow over Halla m’s death, but also with the lack of religious faith that came with it. He wonders what the point of life is if man’s individual soul is not immortal after death. His emotions vacillate between doubt and faith. He eventually comes to terms with the fact that Hallam may be gone in bodily form, but that he is a  perfect spiritual being whose consciousness endures past his death. Becker writes that Tennyson experiences “renewed faith ... that both individual and human survival are  predicated on spiritual rather than physical terms.” Also, significantly, he ruminates over the new scientific findings of the age, which are forerunners of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. In particular, Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology (1846) undermined the biblical story of creation. Several of the

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cantos deal with the ideas of the randomness and brutality of Nature towards man. Canto LVI has the poet anguishing, “So careful of the type? But no. / From scarped cliff and quarried stone / She cries, ‘A thousand types are gone: / I care for nothing, all shall go.’” One of the most famous lines in the English language, “Nature, red in tooth and claw,” is also in this canto. Tennyson grapples with what all of this means in terms of his religious faith as well as in the context of his loss; death is very, very long. The critic William Flesch observes, “Tennyson feels the utter oppressiveness of the emptiness and vacuity of time that Lyell has so devastatingly demonstrated. Within that, he feels the pain of his mourning for Hallam, Hallam, a pain that may be sometimes intermittent but is always at the core of his being.” Ultimately, though, the fact that love prevails and persists in the vastness of Nature gives Tennyson the hope he needs to place his faith in transcendence and salvation once more. The poet never rejected the actual findings of Lyell and others, but he certainly saw them as only partial answers to the mysteries of the universe and believed God still cared very much for human beings and that there was hope for such humans to attain a higher state.

Locksley Hall This poem is a wonderful creation of Tennyson which was published in 1842. In the "Locksley Hall" the speaker shows "Locksley Hall" as young life and it also embodies moral aspect, lackness and thirst of new blood. This beautiful piece is nothing  but a piece of fancy in which we get the idea about about life of the author of the poem. This dramatic monologue poem starts with sad because of the loss of his much loved cousin Amy.In fact, beyond the surface meaning, the poem contains notions of Victorian Age in which the poet lived. The speaker compares his loss of cousin with the loss of Victorian age which has lost his own artistic artist ic capability.

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The speaker traces parental authority in the poem. The consequence of parental authority is uttered through pitiful misconception by making of irritable scenery which replicates the anguish. For example-The speaker displays his depression without expectation of spring. Imagery used, with the reference of Orion and Pleiades, which shine in spring and winter are omitted by speakers depressed mood. The images which hold the poem are the brutality of time and its rapidity and according to the poet , these elements destroy the relationship between lovers and lovers creative capability. Here, the symbol, harp which creates harmony is devastated. The loss of love makes comprehend and doubt the speaker about his fate when father of Amy forces her to marry a guy, whom her father seems perfect. The speaker states that suicide is the only solution to escape from depressive condition. The speaker states that suicide is the only solution to escape from depressive condition. His thoughtfulness drives from individual to society. To him the harm of the effect indicates one aspect of social injustice. The speaker's consciousness over the social awareness offer him a new dream of future. At the end of the poem, the speaker's mind remains with psychological problem through self-confidence which also indicate social progress that means spring is not so far away.

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Chapter Five: Comparative Study between Browning and Tennyson:  Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning belong to the Victorian age and they

occupy a prominent place as a pre-eminent poet of their age. Both the poets apply new techniques and styles in poetry writing. But both these poets adopt their own style in their writing. Browning focuses on the psyche of his frantic characters and tries to look into deep inside of such characters in his writings.

 Browning tries to understand human nature, religion, and society properly. He

studies the innermost psychology of characters. On the other hand, Tennyson draws material from external specific realities, ideas, and objects and tries to express it through ornate language. la nguage.

 Another significant difference between poems of Alfred Tennyson's and Robert

Browning is in their nature of expression. Browning's writings are always energetic but in Tennison's tone of expression is generally melancholic where he tends to give touch of nostalgia. Their poetic concerns are hardly related.

 Browning systematically depicts the essence of a character whereas Tennyson

gives importance in inducing and endorsing a particular mood.

 Tennyson’s poetry is essentially lyrical; thereby his dramatic monologues seem

half-hearted half-hearted attempts when compared to Browning’s.

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 In Tennyson we see the dramatic monologues used quite differently and the same

characteristics found in his lyrical poetry are present in his dramatic monologues. “St. Simeon Stylites” is Tennyson’s most Browningesque poem in   the sense of irony.

 We can easily perceive that Simeon is eluding himself as being the martyr who

suffers to achieve sainthood but his suffering is self-inflicted and he is trying to convince us with false humility while his spiritual pride is clearly evident in his words.

character who is very similar to Tennyson’s   Nevertheless, St. Simon Stylites is character other characters. Like Marianna he is an isolated figure in a confined space leading a lifewhich is no life. The poem is again about the penultimate moment of St. Simeon who is sitting on a pillar waiting for his reward of sainthood. In contrast, we do not find these sorts of similarities in Browning.

 Likewise, the dramatic situations of Tennyson’s “Ulysses” and “Tithonus”

although fascinating in theirown right do not exhibit Browning’s ability to inhabit different personas and refine himself out of existence.

 Browning’s poetry is his attempt to understand human nature, religion, and

society. In all his dramatic monologues we encounter different personas that  provide us with different points of viewsand the reader is ultimatel y asked to elicit his own conclusions. conclusion s. For example, in “Fra Lippo Lippi” Browning satirizes the essentially corrupt relationship between the Italian Renaissance tradition of art

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 patronage and the Roman Catholic Church and the type of irony between the narrator, the creator, and the reader found found in the poem is present in all Browning’s dramatic monologues irrespective of the chosen subject matter. Whereas Tennyson evokes an atmosphere through ornate language, Browning’s dramatic monologues are delivered in colloquial speech that fits the personas of his dramatic monologues. It is thus difficult to find points of contact between Browning and Tennyson.

 Their poetic concerns are scarcely similar; Browning analytically exposes the

essence of a character while Tennyson is interested in evoking and enacting a  particular mood.

 Sir Edward Clarke, K. C., addressing a London Workingmen’s Club on Victorian

literature, thus expressed his opinion of the comparative merit of Tennyson and Browning: ‘The two great poets were Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browni ng. The first named would always stand at the head of the literature of the Victorian  period.

 It was difficult to overrate the enormous influence for good that his splendid

intellect and true and clear conscience exercised over this country. There was no  poet in the whole course of our history whose works were more likely to live as a complete whole than he, and there was not a line which his friends would wish to see blotted out.

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 Robert Browning was a poet of strange inequality and of extraordinary and

fantastic methods in his composition. However much one could enjoy some of his works, one could only hope that two-thirds of them would be as promptly as  possible forgottennot,however, from any moral objection to what he wrote. He was the Carlyle of poetry.

 It is easy to laugh at Sir Edward’s boneheaded prejudice, mastery of cliché, and

 preposterous attempt to reverse Ben Jonson’s quip about Shakespeare (‘the  players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare that in his writing he never blotted out line. My answer hath been, “Would he have blotted a thousand”’). Yet Sir Edward has hold of something true.

 Tennyson and Browning divides the age, and Tennyson is always ‘the first

named’. Browning resented Tennyson’s priority, and friends of Tennyso n, in turn, resented Browning’s pretensions.

 Browning wrote to Isabella Blagden in 1865, following the success of Dramatis

Personae: ‘There were always a few people who had a certain opinion of my  poems, but nobody cared to speak what he thought . . . but at last a new set of men arrive who don’t mind the conventionalities of ignoring one and  seeing everything in another’.

 It is obvious who ‘another’ is. Edward FitzGerald, on the other hand, viewed

Browning’s rising reputation in the 1860s and ’70s as ev idence of the decline of civilization and common sense.

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 He said so to Tennyson himself whom he called, by way of mock-depreciation,

the the ‘paltry Poet ’-elizabeth ’-elizabeth

 To compare Browning with my own paltry Poet is to compare an old Jew’s

Curiosity Shop with the t he Phidian Marbles. They talk of Browning’s metaphysical Depth and Subtlety: pray is there none in ThePalace of Art, The Vision of Sin (which last touches on the limits of Disgust without ever falling in) Locksley Hall also, with some little Passion, I thinkonly that all these being clear to the bottom, as well as beautiful, do not seem to Cockney eyes so deep d eep as Browning’s muddy Waters.

 FitzGerald’s ‘an old Jew’s Curiosity Curiosit y Shop’ links Browning’s vulgarity with that of

Dickens, and also helpsto explain the rumors which circulated later in the century that Browning had Jewish ancestry.

 It may overstep our ‘limits of disgust’ but it, too, has a tang of truth. Lovers of

Browning relish what nauseates FitzGerald, and lovers of Tennyson have continued to protest at the charge that there is nothing to him but surface. The charge of anti-intellectualism anti-intellectualism has stuck, most memorably in Carlyle’s mordant summation: ‘Browning has far more ideas than Tennyson, but is not so truthful. Tennyson means what he says, poor fellow!’ fe llow!’

 Tennyson’s status as a gentleman, which gave him so clear an advantage over

Browning in FitzGerald’s eyes, has probably, in the long run, done him more

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harm than good. I propose to revisit the Tennyson Browning pairing, but not with the aim of confirming or reversing such judgments. Instead, I shall juxtapose their ‘ parleying’  parleying’ (to use Browning’s term) with Virgil, because each illuminates and utilizes the others. I shall concentrate on two poems: Tennyson’s ‘To Virgil’ (R394) and Browning’s ‘Pan  ‘Pan   and Luna’.  Luna’.   These are both late works that triumphantly resist belatedness, though they do this by radically different means.

 I wish Browning’s poem had been written after Tennyson’s: it could so clearly be

read as a reply to it. Even so, the juxtaposition suggests the revisionary impulse which, in their relation, came almost always from Browning’s side.

 Virgil marks a fault line in Victorian aesthetics, not between high and low culture

 but between two kinds of high high culture, the polished, and the rough.

 There are many ways of framing this division Classic and Gothic, music and

speech, soul and body (or soul and mind)and the division itself is linked to other oppositions, notably those of religion and class. It may be unjust, but it is undeniable, that Virgil has been read as a poet of the ruling class, and of the ruling class of poets: Poet Laureate to Augustus, a favou rite of England’s first fi rst Poet Laureate, Dryden, and, before him, two other court poets, Spenser and Chaucer.

 Tennyson’s love of Virgil was not the product of his having been born a

gentleman, baptized into the Church of England, educated at Cambridge, and awarded the laureateship by favour of Prince Albert, but it is not separable from those contexts, just as Browning’s Bro wning’s upbringing in suburban Dissenting Camberwell

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ensured that his classical learning would be a personal choice, not a social given. Browning’s account of this process, in one of his last poems, ‘Development’,  begins ‘My father was a scholar, and knew Greek.’ Knowledge and love begin in the family circle, but even in this poem, written in the last year of his life when his fame was secure, there is also a touch of prickliness, of one-upmanship. Latin was still ubiquitous in the education of boys, and Virgil, together with Horace, ruled the kingdom; but Greek was a much rarer accomplishment, and had the prestige of  being both harder in itself and anterior to Latin. ‘Development’ is about Homer, who takes precedence over Virgil, and who is greaterbecause both grander and more primitive.

 Tennyson crowns ‘To Virgil’ with a declaration of love: ‘I that loved thee since

my day began’ (l. 19). He cannot mean ‘since birth’ even as a hyperbole that would be absurdand must mean something like ‘ever since I knew a nything about  poetry’, with the further implication ‘ever since the dawn of my own creative life’. Browning could not have said the same. He did not love Virgil; ‘Development’ is typical of Browning’s ‘classical’ poems, all of which (with the exception of ‘Pan and Luna’) are on Greek subjects and refer to, or translate, Greek Greek authors. Virgil is mellifluous even (or especially) in his moments of greatest seriousness and pathos, and the unresolved conflicts in what he says about love, or empire, or mortality are easy to miss, or gloss over; he is a gifted phrase-maker, and left an involuntary legacy of cliché for the support of impoverished orators. An early draft of ‘To Virgil’ acknowledges that he is ‘Quoted in the halls of Council, speaking yet in every schoolboy’s schoolboy’s home’.

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 Tennyson wisely cut this two-edged compliment. Browning, as we shall see,

heartlessly tagged Virgil as a fount of condescension (though not in ‘Pan and Luna’; that is what makes the poem so interesting), but it would be quite wrong to imply imply that ‘ ToVirgil’ is ‘Virgilian’ in this sense. The case is exactly the opposite: Tennyson’s poem is Virgilian because its poise, its ‘finish ‘ finish’, ’, is threatened by forces it barely holds in check.

 Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning belong to the Victorian age and they

occupy a prominent place as a pre-eminent poet of their age. Both the poets apply new techniques and styles in poetry writing. But both these poets adopt their own style in their writing.

 Browning focuses on the psyche of his frantic characters and tries to look into

deep inside of such characters in his writings. Browning tries to understand human nature, religion, and society properly.

 He studies the innermost psychology of characters. On the other hand, Tennyson

draws material from external specific realities, ideas, and objects and tries to express it through ornate language. la nguage.

 Another significant difference between poems of Alfred Tennyson's and Robert

Browning is in their nature of expression. Browning's writings are always energetic but in Tennison's tone of expression is generally melancholic where he tends to give touch of nostalgia.

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 Their poetic concerns are hardly related. Browning systematically depicts the

essence of a character whereas Tennyson gives importance in inducing and endorsing a particular mood.

 Robert browning and Alfred Tennyson were two main Victorian poets. They were

also famous in Dramatic monologue. It is difficult to find difference between Browning and Tennyson. Their poetic concerns are quiet similar.

 Browning logically reveals the essence of a person whereas, Tennyson induce and

 plays a particular mood.

 Browning in his poetry tries to realize human nature, society and religion.

Whereas, Tennyson recall the conscious mind an environment through ornate language.

 Tennyson as a source for his poetry, used many subjects from domestic conditions

to observation of atmosphere. Whereas, Browning takes an immoral character and challenges us to find out the moral excellence.  Tennyson and Browning are the two literary titans of the Victorian age who

towered over all other poets of the period for about help a century. However, as  poets they have very little in common. While Tennyson was completely a representative of his age who glorified the greatness of England, its democracy and freedom, and dreamed of “The Parliament of Man, The Federation of the World”, Browning kept apart from all the political and religious turmoil of the

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age. In fact, Browning lived and wrote as if such things as Reform Bills, Catholic Emancipation, The Crimean War, The Indian Mutiny that never been.

The only evidence we have of Browning’s patriotism is furnished

 by two little poems, “Home Thoughts from Abroad” and “Home thoughts from sea”. It is true that he lived in Italy after his marriage, and so and so had no interest in the tendencies and movements in Victorian England. But he was quite unresponsive to the Italian freedom struggle also even when Mrs. Browning was so-sympathetic to it. It means that Browning had no interest in contemporary history. His main interest was in the remote part, especially in the Italy of the Renaissance.

 Being a poet of the 19th century, Tennyson could not escape the influences of

Romanticism. In his poetry Nature always predominates. In fact, it is nicely said that if Byron is the poet of the mountains and oceans, Shelley of cloud and air, Keats of the perfume of evening, Wordsworth of the meaning and mysteries of  Nature as a whole, Tennyson is the poet of flowers, trees tr ees and birds. In the words of Harrison, “Of flowers and and trees, he must be held to be the supreme master, above all who have written in English, perhaps indeed in any poetry”.

 Moreover, he is a perfect painter of Nature because he has portrayed it not only as

 benevolent, but also as cruel, “red in tooth and claw”. Just like a scientist he has  penetrated through the nature. No doubt, Browning also loved Nature and also shows a keen appreciation of her beauties is such poems as “Home Thoughts from Abroad”, “Soul” etc., but Nature was nothing special to him. In fact, Nature except for a brief period in the 18th century has been a perennial element of

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English poetry and especially after Wordsworth it is inconceivable that any poet could do with it, to which Browning is no exception. Browning interest in Nature is neither prominent, nor persistent as in the case of Tennyson

 Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning belong to the Victorian age and they

occupy a prominent place as a pre-eminent poet of their age. Both the poets apply new techniques and styles in poetry writing. But both these poets adopt their own style in their writing. Browning focuses on the psyche of his frantic characters and tries to look into deep inside of such characters in his writings.

 Browning tries to understand human nature, religion, and society properly. He

studies the innermost psychology of characters. On the other hand, Tennyson draws material from external specific realities, ideas, and objects and tries to express it through ornate language. la nguage.

 Another significant difference between poems of Alfred Tennyson's and Robert

Browning is in their nature of expression. Browning's writings are always energetic but in Tennyson’s tone of expression is generally melancholic where he tends to give touch of nostalgia. Their poetic concerns are hardly related. Browning systematically depicts the essence of a character whereas Tennyson gives importance in inducing and endorsing a particular mood.

 Alfred Tennyson sometimes made allusion in his poetry to the social and scientific

issues that were so distressing to many Victorians, including Tennyson, related to the discoveries of geological and astronomical time and Darwinian theory. As a

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devout Christian, he added references in his poetry about how one might keep faith in God and yet acknowledge the "progress" of sciences understanding.

 Additionally, he would use some poetic works to express opinion about social

issues like fair treatment of women and women's right to attain higher education.

 Robert Browning, on the other hand, often took a psychological approach to

addressing the ills of society. His poetry, often composed as dramatic monologues, told stories through various characters. Since Browning was therefore writing in a character voice and not his own, he was free to create characters that were capable capa ble of as much evil as good.

 In this way Browning could explore the psychology of crime and brutality as

easily as he could explore goodness and beauty. He exposed the inner mind  behind some of the situations of society and used his poetic stories to discuss  philosophical points relevant to issues from art and beauty to materialism.

Contrast between Ulysses and My Last Duchess  “Ulysses” of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and “My Last Duchess” of Robert Browning

are two good examples of Dramatic monologues written during the Victorian age. So, naturally there are some similarities from structural point of view between the two poems.  However, I think that there are many differences between them and in this term

 paper I want to focus on the differences between these two poems.

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 The first thing that comes to our mind by reading the two poems is that “Ulysses”

is a poem about seeking knowledge and physical journey, while “My Last Duchess” is mainly about power and pride. The duke is very  powerful and he always reminds others of his power and authority. He expects others to be humble in front of him and obey his every command. The Duchess did not listen to him and he became very angry and killed her.

 There is no doubt that Ulysses was a very powerful man of ancient Greece. If we

read “Iliad” of Homer, then it is very clear that he was one of the top generals in Greek army and was very clever. More than everything, Ulysses was the king of Ithaca and he was the all in all in his own kingdom.

 Undoubtedly, he was the most powerful man of Ithaca. On the other hand, the

Duke was the Duke of a small area and naturally, there was a king above him. Still, Ulysses acted with politeness to others. We understand this matter from his speech to the sailors:…..My sailors:…..My mariners,Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me,--That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads,-- you and I are old;Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.

 As for knowledge, Ulysses was always dedicated for gaining knowledge and

experience. During his time, most people did not give value to this matter and that is why, Ulysses was not satisfied with his countrymen.

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 He said in the openings stanza of the poem that people of his country only knew

about eating and sleeping and did not understand him. The Duke showed off to others all the time that he was a man of high culture, but the reality was that he did not have any interest about knowledge.

 In “My Last Duchess”, we find a lot of description about renaissance art. It was

clear that the Duke was a fan of art and painting. But, I got the feeling by reading the poem that he was interested about painting only to show off to others that he came from an aristocratic family. He knew how to spend money smartly and collect quality paintings and statues, but he did not appreciate art for art’s sake. Art was a device for him to show his authority. He always felt that he was different from others and he had high taste.

 On the other hand, in “Ulysses”, we can not find any description of any painting

or statues but it seems to me that Ulysses himself was an artist of life. He wanted to find true meaning of life and how to live happily. His art was to teach others about the value of knowledge and wisdom.

 “My Last Duchess” is a poem about renaissance time and we know that humanity,

individualism and freedom are the important features of renaissance age. The Duke is always eager to show that he is a renaissance man and he appreciates art and painting. However, in his heart, he did not have any respect towards humanity, individualism, and freedom. Instead, he was power-hungry just like many people during the time of Ulysses. On the other hand, Ulysses had some kinds of renaissance spirit in him and that is why, he gave value to knowledge and

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experience, although he spent most of his time in fighting. He understood that knowledge is higher than authority. Thus, we find a paradox in these two poems.

 The Duke is very possessive. He wanted that his wife only smiles at him and he

can enjoy the beauty of his wife alone. However, in return, he was not ready to give any love or emotion to his wife. He only cared for his own pleasure and he was a very selfish husband and a very selfish man in his personal life. He is not ready to sacrifice anything for anyone, but he feels that because he was born in a 900-year-old family, others must obey him without any question.

 On the other hand, it is clear that Ulysses had sacrificed a lot for his soldiers. That

is why, even in old age, they are ready to accompany him in his adventure. There is a strong possibility that all of them would die but still, they are ready to accompany Ulysses in his last voyage. Thus, Ulysses won the loyalty and respect of his fellow sailors by respecting them first.

 The idea of civilization is very important in both of these two poems. Ulysses was

unhappy with his people because he thought that his countrymen were savage. Even he was not so satisfied with his wife and son. He could easil y decide to leave them even at old age.

 Ulysses believes that he is more civilized and higher than the people around him.

However, this kind of feeling did not destroy his politeness. He knows that he has earned this higher status with his own personal efforts. On the other hand, the Duke had done nothing to have this feeling of civilization in himself. He was only

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 born in a rich and powerful family. He could spend freely for art and entertainment. For him, civilization was nothing more than possessing a pretty wife, being the Duke of an area and managing some beautiful paintings.

 Ulysses was a spiritual person and he had depth in his personality. On the other

hand, the Duke was a surface person. He did not have any spirituality. He did not care to go deep any matter. He did not even try to think which way he could make his wife listen to his wanted. He just knew that his wife must listen to her or she would be punished. Thus, it is natural his wife suffered a lot in married life and death saved her from more torture.

 The Duke was a very good example of materialism. He only cared for his own

 benefit and own consumption. He liked a painting and he must have it. He liked a  beautiful woman (The Duchess) and he must have it. He cannot think t hink of any other way. He does not care for any good idea. From this matter, Ulysses was just the opposite. He spent all his life not just for his own glory, but also for his ideas. He is the symbol of idealism. Ulysses has some goals in life. He is not satisfied with  just ruling his countrymen. He does not like to control other people that much but he wants to bring good things for everyone. He believed that knowledge is supreme and for this matter he is again going out on a sea voyage.

 What I feel is that although the two main characters of these two poems are

exactly opposite, the two poets had the same goals with their poems. They are  both idealists in their t heir message. Tennyson has showed the positive side of human characteristics. His hero Ulysses is full of good qualities. Ulysses is not an

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ordinary person. He is attractive to many readers and it is true that most of us can not become like Ulysses but still we like his ideas. We know that he is an extraordinary man and if possible, we should try to be like him. On the other hand, Browning has created the character of Duke in his poem and the Duke is narrating the whole story. However, Browning does not like the character of the Duke. Browning has used subtle ironies to show his displeasure about the Duke. Although he is the main character in “My Last Duchess”, the readers readers know very well that the Duke is not a person that we like to follow.

 May be, many of us in our personal life are somehow similar to Duke but in the

end, we are not proud of this matter. Browning has given us the feeling that the Duke is everything opposite to goodness and idealism. So, Browning has also made the readers aware about idealism and spirituality in life. I feel that Browning has been more successful in giving his message of idealism because he could create a lot of reactions in the mind of the readers. When we read “My Last Duchess”, we know that the Duke is showing off a lot and he is a very bad person. He is all the time saying bad words about the Duchess but the more he says the more readers realize thatthe Duchess was a noble lady. The readers also understand that the way of the Duke was very bad.

 In conclusion, I like to say that with all the contrasting ideas presented in

“Ulysses” and “My Last Duchess”, they have almost s imilar message.

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Similarities and contrasts between Andrea Del Sarto and My Last Duchess: 

It is interesting how to poems from the same author can present the same themes in such different ways. We will be comparing, Browning’s “Andrea Del Sarto” and “My Last Duchess”. There are two topics that have important roles in  both  poems; these are art and the role of woman. Browning shows s hows us women in very different roles in these two poems. He also presents art in both poems from different points of view. In “My Last Duchess” women’s role is of a free person; the king treats his his duchess as a possession and when he thinks he can’t control her he simply kills her.

We see that the duchess is kind of a free spirit and that she gets killed just because she is independent from the duke, which made him jealous and made him think she was was cheating on him. On “Andrea Del Sarto” we have a complete different attitude from man towards woman.

Lucrezia is the one in control of the situation and Andrea seems to accept whatever she decides. In this poem man takes the traditional role of woman in the sense that man is usually the one that gives the orders but in this poem man does whatever his wife tells. We also see that Andrea is the one who has to put up with his wife’s infidelity and not the other way around like the situation is usually  portrayed.

We can see this in the following quote: Love, does that please you? Ah, but what does he, The Cousin! what does he to please you more?I am grown peaceful a s old age to-night. I regret little, I would change still less. (Browning, "Andrea Del Sarto") In both poems the female character is liberal and this bothers the male figures the most fundamental difference is the way man reacts to this attitude. 76 | P a g e

We can see that Andrea is really tolerating also in the past quote. In contrast we can see how the Duke treated the Duchess like a possession: possession: “Much the same smile?

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Chapter Seven Findings of the Study Fra Lippo Lippi The poem begins as the painter and monk Lippo Lippi, also the poem's narrator, is caught  by some authority figures while roving his town's red light district. As he begins, he is  being physically accosted by one of the police police

 Andrea del Sarto This dramatic monologue is narrated by Renaissance painter  Andrea   Andrea del Sarto to his wife Lucrezia.  Lucrezia.  They live in Florence. Andrea begs Lucrezia that they end a quarrel over whether the painter should sell his paintings to a friend of his wife's

My Last Duchess "My Last Duchess" is narrated by the duke of Ferrara to an envoy (representative) of another nobleman, whose daughter the duke is soon to marry. These details are revealed throughout the poem, but understanding them from the opening helps to illustrate the irony that Browning employs.

 A Grammarian's Funeral The speaker of this poem is a disciple of an accomplished grammarian who has recently died. It begins with the speaker instructing others to help him "carry up this corpse" (line 1) so they can bury him high "on a tall mountain… crowded with culture" (line s 15-16), far above normal human life down on "the unlettered plain with its herd and crop" (li ne

Ulysses Ulysses complains that he is “idle” as a king, home with home  with his elderly wife, stuck passing enlightened laws for a “savage race” that sleeps and eats but does not know him. He does

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not want to cease his travels; he has made the most of his life, having suffered and experienced pleasure both with others and alone and both at sea and on the shore

Morte d'Arthur First, a poem frames “Morte d’Arthur,” entitled “The Epic.” The speaker says he is gathered at the home of Francis Allen on Christmas Eve. Also there are the parson, Holmes; the poet, Everard poet, Everard Hall; and Hall; and the host.

The Lotos-Eaters Lotos-Eaters Ulysses tells his men to have courage, for they will get to land soon. It seems like it is always afternoon there, and the languid air breathes like a dream. A “slender stream” trickles off a cliff. Other streams (this is a land of streams) roll throughout the land. Three snow-topped peaks gleam in the sunset, covered with pine trees topped with dew. As the sun sets, they see a dale and meadow far inland.

The Palace of Art This poem has a great deal to do with the theme of identity, and in particular with the desire of the speaker of this poem to isolate himself in a world of art, private sensation and stasis. The poem focuses on the conflict that is present in many of Tennyson's works, the conflict between art and statis and life and society.

I n Me M emor i am In Memoriam” is often considered Tennyson’s greatest poetic achievement. It is a stunning and profoundly moving long poem consisting of a prologue, 131 cantos/stanzas, and an epilogue.

Locksley Hall This poem is a wonderful creation of Tennyson which was published in 1842.

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In the "Locksley Hall" the speaker shows "Locksley Hall" as young life and it also embodies moral aspect, lackness and thirst of new blood. This beautiful piece is nothing  but a piece of fancy in which we get the idea about about life of the author of the poem.

Conclusion: Although both Tennyson and Browning are important Victorian poets, they differ in  background and style.First, Tennyson was a member of the British upper classes with wealthy grandparents, but due to an odd inheritance arrangement, his father was a relatively poor clergyman. The contrast between his own circumstances and wealth of other members of his family was something he felt acutely. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge and had a solid knowledge of Greek and Latin, as was common with members of the upper classes in his period. His work reflects a deep engagement with classical culture. He became immensely popular, was appointed Poet Laureate, and granted a peerage. By contrast, Robert Browning came from a family of middle class dissenters and although admired by a small circle of intellectuals, he never achieved Tennyson's immense popularity. Often Browning is considered the more innovative of the two poets due to his often unusual syntax, but actually under his mellifluous and fluid surface style, Tennyson is  perhaps even more radically innovative. Both poets wrote dramatic monologues, but while many of Browning's narrators prove completely evil, Tennyson's often demonstrate a sort of moral ambiguity. Both poets experimented with writing in dialect and using nonlinear or complex narrative structures. While Tennyson often explores classical and medieval themes, many of Browning's best known poems are set in the Renaissance. While Browning's poems reflect a wide range of emotional tones, Tennyson is best known for his evocation of melancholy, although he also could write entertaining poems 80 | P a g e

in dialect.In dialect.In the and we can say that browning’s place in our literature will be better appreciated by comparison comparison with his friend Tennyson. Tennyson. Whom we just studied in our respect, especially in their methods of approaching the truth, the two man are the exact opposites.

Tennyson is the first artist and and then the the teacher, but with browning the

message is always the important thing and he careless, too careless, of the form in which it is expressed

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References : 1. "Person Details for Robert Browning, "England Births and Christenings, 15381975"". 2. Browning, Robert. Ed. Karlin, Daniel (2004) Select ed Poems Penguin p9 3. "Robert Browning Biography". Biography". 4. John Maynard, Browning's Youth "Ebony". 5. The dramatic imagination of Robert Browning: a literary life (2007) Richard S. Kennedy, Donald S. Hair, University of Missouri Press p7 ISBN p7  ISBN 0-8262-1691-9 6. Chesterton, G K (1903). Robert Browning (1951 edition). London: Macmillan Interactive Publishing. ISBN Publishing. ISBN 978-0-333-02118-7. 978-0-333-02118-7... 7. Stevenson, Sarah. "Robert Sarah. "Robert Browning". Retrieved Browning".  Retrieved 26 August 2012. 8. "Introduction and Chronology". Browning Poetical Works 1833 –  1833 – 1864. 1864. Oxford University Press. ISBN Press. ISBN 978-0-19-254165-9. 978-0-19-254165-9. OCLC  OCLC 108532  108532 9. Browning, Robert. Ed. Karlin, Daniel (2004) Selected Poems Penguin 10. Browning, Robert. Ed. Karlin, Daniel (2004) Select ed Poems Penguin p10 11. Peterson, William S. Sonnets From The Portuguese. Massachusetts: Barre Publishing, 1977. 12. Browning (1970). "Introduction". In Ian Jack. Browning Poetical Works 1833 –  1833 –  1864. Oxford University Press. ISBN Press.  ISBN 978-0-19-254165-9. 978-0-19-254165-9.  OCLC 108532.  OCLC 108532. 13. Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Brief Biography, Glenn Everett, Associate Professor of English, University of Tennessee at Martin 14. "Tennyson, Alfred (TNY827A)".  (TNY827A)".   A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.

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