question archive Write a 1750 word paper answering; Coming to the origin of monologues, dramatic monologues are a literary product of the 19th century
Write a 1750 word paper answering; Coming to the origin of monologues, dramatic monologues are a literary product of the 19th century. They can be labeled appropriately as the Victorian invention as the form was invented and practiced mainly by the Victorian poets including Robert Browning, Tennyson, Rossetti, and others. The earliest articulation of dramatic monologues can be identified with the advent of the intelligent criminal in the Victorian periods, and the growing concern for exploring the criminal psyche (Sinfield, 1977). A dramatic monologue is also a kind of performative psychoanalysis as it attempts to explore the speaker’s mind. Browning is highly regarded for his ability to create devious characters in his poems. His monologues portray a complex characterization of the speakers although in a subtler way. In “My Last Duchess”, Browning’s speaker is a pompous Italian Duke who shows off the portrait of his young gracious wife he had executed. The speaker’s dissatisfaction with his wife’s unaffected graciousness is prominent in the monologue as quoted by Sinfield (Sinfield 4),
The pleasant and gracious nature of the Duchess is communicated through the Duke’s words, however, the Duke does not intend to appreciate it in any way. There are considerable disagreements among critics concerning the Duke’s callous revelation of the death of the last Duchess. Either the Duke is too self-possessed to care about what others think, or he intends to warn his next Duchess. The monologue demonstrates the strong obsession of the Duke who is “still obsessed with the remarkable girl he failed to dominate and impelled to justify to himself and others his ruthless response” (Sinfield 5).
Unlike Browning’s subtle speaker characterization, speakers in Shakespeare’s monologues (Shakespearean soliloquies) reveal their deepest confessions rather blatantly. Perhaps, the best known Shakespearean monologue is the ‘To be or not to be’ monologue by the protagonist in Hamlet. .The monologue speaks distinctly of Hamlet’s confusing state of mind and his complex characterization.