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How Does Browning Create Sympathy for the Reader?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Francesca1
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How does Browning create sympathy for the speaker?
Browning creates sympathy for the reader when he compares the setting of the house-roofs to ‘heave and sway’ to ‘nobody’, and this evokes how sad and lonely the solider feels. The contrast of change of setting shows how the solider went from being almost loved and praised to becoming hated and isolated by the same people. Furthermore the solider refers back to his past in the opening of the poem ‘what else?’ when the public offer the solider more luxurious prizes, however the narrator turns this down. This emphasis how the solider did not decide to take advantage of the public when he knew he could; he is not greedy. This shows that the solider is a very noble and selfless character and it makes us feel more sympathy towards the speaker, as we all know these good things about him and that he does not deserve his later punishment.
Browning creates the illusion of sympathy when the speaker makes a reference to ‘Shambles’ Gate’, butchers’ trade. This symbolises death and animals being slaughtered and hung like a piece of meat. This is exactly how the solider is being treated. The people have overlooked all of the soldier’s good deeds and treated him like a traitor.
In the last two stanzas poet uses pathetic fallacy to highlight the mood of the atmosphere ‘rain’ and this demonstrate how sad and upsetting his situation is. The poet structures the poem from the past to the present. The order of events makes us feel sympathy because we know how loyal and brave the solider is, yet the public still rejects him now.

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