An Introduction to the Study of Browning

An Introduction to the Study of Browning

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An Introduction to the Study of Browning by Arthur Symons

Published:

1906

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An Introduction to the Study of Browning

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Book Excerpt

mental machinery as it is slowly disclosed before us; we note the specialties of construction, its individual character, the interaction of parts, every secret of it. We thus come to see that, considered from the proper point of view, everything is clear, regular and explicable in however entangled an action, however obscure a soul; we see that what is external is perfectly natural when we can view its evolution from what is internal. It must not be supposed that Browning explains this to us in the manner of an anatomical lecturer; he makes every character explain itself by its own speech, and very often by speech that is or seems false and sophistical, so only that it is personal and individual, and explains, perhaps by exposing, its speaker.

This, then, is Browning's consistent mental attitude, and his special method. But he has also a special instrument, the monologue. The drama of action demands a concurrence of several distinct personalities, influencing one another rapidly by word or deed, so as

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