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Reading Poetry, January24.doc

3 Pages

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ENGL 3007
Andrew Wallace

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Robert Browning Book 2 There is a viciousness that emerges in Browning. The speaker in Book 2's sympathies rest with Guido. The speaker is drawn to support Guido not only because of his social standing, but also in his standing as a wronged husband (because he too is a wronged husband).Amessage being sent to someone: to the man dallying with the speaker's wife. l. 1537: reference again to how not acting in a fit of passion is Guido's true fault: not the actual murder of his wife and her lover. Playing with the scope of things: how it is important to the world, the men of Rome.An instrument of correction hanging behind the door: the rod symbolically being wielded against his wife. by being behind the door, it is not visible in all aspects of domestic life: the sometimes hidden dominance of men over their wives. All of the speaker's claims about Rome collapse back to his own personal life and biases. Metonymy: substitute cause for effect or effect for cause --> i.e. the brine can be salt or tears: salt would be cause and tears would be the effect. Agreat image of motivated speech: a view of the story that is not given to us dispassionately or someone who is questing after the truth of the matter. NOT JUSTATALEABOUT THE TRUTH: about people's motivations and biases that come out of violent events. Book 3, the story is a diametrical opposite to book 2: a saintlike portrayal of Pompilia. • Book 3! The importance to certain stories of female death: for Roman epic. Dido: female ruler of Carthage. She is a distraction on the founding of empire forAenies. Gods make him leave Dido and she commits suicide. Fits a patter that is important for Roman poetry: founding him leave Dido and she commits suicide. Fits a patter that is important for Roman poetry: founding story for Rome as a Republic: Kings are kicked out after the rape of a woman, Lucreze. Browning: connection with Rome and the sense of a new order. Pompilia's deathbed as a pilgrimage site yet not based upon religious motives. Book 3 is not an untroubling antidote to the troubling account that is Book 2: this is equally as troubling. Each book is concerned with the dangers of female beauty which Pompilia possesses: her beauty is a destabilizing force: moves men into troublesome conduct in Rome. (IE: language of Pompilia as Eve and the serpent simultaneously). Opening lines of book 3, 1-65: Conflating her beauty with saintliness: not saying she's pure: reading her beauty as an index of her moral virtue. Pompilia's body is commodified: for the lawyers, for the artists, for the doctors. She is an attraction: painters are bribing guards to get to paint her dead body. Almost as if she has been resurrected to speak her story: moving away from facts and going to some romantic, religious idea. She prays to be alive long enough to absolve herself: trying to think why her prayer has been answered: no sure answer. Peaceful, saintly repose. Juxtaposition between someone who is beautiful and stomeone who has been stabbed/disfigured by violence. HIs imagination is going under her clothing, under the sheets to im
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