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How Does Browning Tell the Story in the Laboratory

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Submitted By courtneylennon
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How does Browning tell the story in the Laboratory

Robert Brownings, The Laboratory tells the story of a woman entering the “devil’s smithy” in order to create a poison, in which would kill the woman because she was seeing a man.

The Laboratory is told in first person narrative so immediately it makes the poem very imitate with the reader and so we feel like the woman is speaking to the reader about her problems and how she is going to kill the woman. The quote “he is with her” shows how she doesn't like how the man has gone for the woman but also the tone of this is very spiteful when she says this and shows how the woman is arrogant.

As the woman speaks she uses imperatives like “grind” and “pound” the use of these violent imperatives show her edging on and how she is reinforcing her pleasure showing how she is enjoying herself with what she is about to do. The quote “I am no it haste” also shows how she is enjoying the pleasure of the poison. The woman can also be viewed as scornful shown in the line "he is sure to remember her dying face", suggesting she wants a seemingly innocent woman to die ugly, simply because she spoke to a man she should not have by the woman.

Browning also uses the use of exclamttives to show the characters journey through the poem, “a filigree basket!”, this exclamative shows how the woman is getting more excited about the poison and it shows the delight in which she enjoys. Browning also uses context in his he telling of the story in the Laboratory “She’s not little, no minion like me”, this quotation shows that the speaker feels at a disadvantage, as she sees herself as being small in statue and status, this likes to gender, and how the only way to fight back is by a male.

Browning uses the narrative techniques of alliteration “burn up, bite”,near the end of the poem this harsh alliteration , sounds like the reader has just sprung the words out this shows the characters fractured mind and how she is disturbed as she wants the lover to remember the dying face.

As the poem comes to a close the tone of the poem becomes light which contrast with the deep plan to murder which has almost been fulfilled the quotation “kiss me” shows the light tone as she is so excited she has even said that the lover could kiss her on the mouth.

To what extent do you think that in Browning’s poetry woman are powerless

In Browning’s poetry he does show that woman are powerless especially in the poem “My last Duchess” and in Porphyria’s lover but also he shows that woman are not powerless and do have control shown in the poem “The Laboratory”.

Some people would say that in My last Duchess woman are powerless this would because in this poem the woman is treated as a possession not a wife, “is my object”, this quotation, shows how the Duke knows how he treats woman, and how he believes that she is his possession and that he has to be the dominant. This is also shown on the first ever line of the poem “That’s my last Duchess”, this first line shows how the Duke sees the Duchess as not an individual but his Duchess, it shows how she didn't get a say in it as he was the controlling one. But then some people could say that My last Duchess shows that woman are not powerless, this would be because the whole poem is about the woman, the Duke needs a woman to feel powerful, but actually the woman is in power because if he does not have her that he is nothing. The quotation “she thanked me- good!, but thanked somehow”, this fragmented speech shows his anger and irritation about possibly the Duchess flirting, this shows how he is scared to not have her as his power will no longer be their.

Also in Porphyria’s lover it shows how woman are powerless this is in the description of how the lover killed Porphyria “I wound three times her little throat around”, the length of description shows how possessive he is and that he killing has to be precise and perfect otherwise he wouldn't feel the same power.

Overall Browning’s poetry does show how woman are powerless but in some poems it shows that woman can be even more powerful than the men, because without the woman would the men have the same amount of power as they do when they do have woman.

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