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Explore how Robert Browning explores the idea of character in his poem ‘The Laboratory.

’ In your answer you should include one other poem in the pre1914 cluster and one by Simon Armitage and one by Carol Anne Duffy. Robert Browning is known for his dramatic monologues that produce characters of an unpleasant or unconventional nature. In The Laboratory, we are presented with a woman who has been thwarted by her lover and is planning to poison her rival. It is written from her point of view and we are given a vivid description of the poisons and the chemicals that surround her in the apothecary she is visiting, ‘such gold oozings come!’, is a sensual description displaying the passionate and sensual nature of the woman’s disposition and of the hateful behaviour she is about to engage in. The woman’s disturbed nature can be compared to Browning’s other poem, My Last Duchess. In this dramatic monologue, we again are party to a disturbed mind who recounts with an unabashed arrogance the murder and power games he played with his wife. Whilst showing his visitor his works of art, of which he includes his wife, he recounts how his paranoid jealousy drove him to, ‘gave commands’, to ensure, ‘all smiles stopped together’. These two Victorian poems can be in turn compared to the modern poems by Duffy and Armitage. In Duffy’s Education for Leisure, we see another dramatic monologue (this time divided up into stanzas) where we see a disturbed and thwarted mind plan a murder, again blaming others for his own shortcomings. This is similar to The Laboratory because we see the planning but not the execution and we are left with the chilling line at the
Subtle use of comparison, the similarities are drawn with subtle differences noticed. The poems are put into historic context, a good way of comparing them. Embedded quotations are the best where possible, they are short and follow the flow of the sentence. An example of the PEE structure, a point is made, a short quotation is used and is then explained. There is only a brief mention of what the poem is about, don’t be tempted to explain what the poem is about to the examiner.

The essay immediately identifies the poem’s style and the method the character is presented.

’ . Candidate has a wide vocabulary. Much like My Last Duchess. we have an insight into a killing as he. ‘Let him have it’. Here the candidate has kept it short and found the main link that draws the essay back to the title and Key Words. Armitage’s Hitcher recounts the brutal murder committed to an innocent man. ‘He’d said he like the breeze. ‘I touch your arm’. Finally. ‘Character. the psychopath or sociopath by the use of direct speech and the dramatic monologue. love and even boredom but each of the poets has given us insight into the serial killer.end when Duffy says.’ With all of these characters that have been created by the poets. The character here is again both unabashed and shows no sign of any remorse after the deed and the tone is that of humour as the killers says. We see the reasons for their actions. Conclusions can be quite tricky. none of them show any guilt in their actions. This second person statement is directed straight at the reader as we are made to feel as the intended victim. jealousy.

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