Browning's attitude toward the problems of the nineteenth century, 1934

Atlanta University and Clark Atlanta University Theses and Dissertations
Browning's attitude toward the problems of the nineteenth century, 1934
Edmondson, Elise Fannie Louise
Date of Original:
Degrees, Academic
Dissertations, Academic
United States, Georgia, Fulton County, Atlanta, 33.749, -84.38798
Degree Type: thesis
Degree Name: Master of Arts (MA)
Date of Degree: 1934
Department/ School: Department of English
Many eminent critics have regarded Robert Browning as a typical Victorian, or as a prophet with an important message for the people of his age. Miss Helen A. Clarke wrote of him: "No other English peat of the century has been so thoroughly aware of the intellectual tendencies of his century, and has so emotionalized them and brought them before us under the humanly real conditions of dramatic utterance." Certain dissenting opinions advanced by her adviser, Miss Luella F. Norwood, have led the writer to examine the poetry and letters of Robert Browning, and his biographies and the criticisms of his poetry, in order to discover the poet's attitude toward the problems of his age. This thesis is a study of Browning's attitude toward the religious problems that arose out of the advance of scientific thought, and toward the problems growing out of the Industrial Revolution. Chapter I is intended to give a brief background for the study by presenting these two great problems, while Chapter II is intended to present, first, the views of a group of Victorian writers who attempted to solve these problems, and secondly, a number of opinions about Robert Browning's attitude toward these problems. The remaining chapters deal with the poet's attitude. This study is important because, so far as is known, no attempt has been made to discover, first the poet's attitude toward the chief problem of the age, and secondly, his main interests as revealed in his poetry. Its importance is increased by the fact that the poet was apparently reticent about declaring his position in any way. A study of the available evidence has led to the conclusion that Browning was not, as has been supposed*a "prophet who came unto his own", but rather, what has come to be termed iSkmodernvpsychology an "escapist. �Helen A. Clarke, Browning~anfl~Hls'Century. Garden City, N. Y., 1912, p. 13, In the final chapter the conclusions arrived at are stated and reasons for the poet's attitude are considered. The quotations from the Poems are from the Complete Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning, ed. Horace E. Schdder, Boston, [copyright 1895|, Cambridge Edition.
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Holding Institution:
Clark Atlanta University