Write About the Ways Browning Tells the Story in ‘the Laboratory’ Essay

867 WordsApr 21, 20144 Pages
03 Write about the ways Browning tells the story in ‘The Laboratory’? In the poem ‘The Laboratory’, Robert Browning adopts various methods with he uses to tell a story. The poem describes a jealous Marquise waiting for a poison to be concocted in a laboratory, obsessively intent on getting revenge on the woman who stole her love. ‘The laboratory’ is written as a dramatic monologue in first person by an erratic and vengeful Marquise. Browning uses quatrains with rhyming couplets throughout the poem, giving a calm and controlled feel with contrast dramatically with the dark, murderous theme of the poem and the erratic thoughts of the Marquise. His use of anapestic tetrameter gives a staccato and choppy rhythm which impersonates fingers drumming on a table, giving an atmosphere of impatience and insanity. The theme of finding beauty in ugly things is reoccurring throughout the poem, and it can be seen in this poem as Browning describes a horrific murder plan in a controlled and beautiful way. ‘The Laboratory’ progresses in a linear chronology, in which Browning describes the process of the creation of the poison. This interrupted however by the Marquise’s daydream in stanzas 5 and 6, which Browning uses to demonstrate her obsession with murder as she fantasises about the power she would posses with ‘pure death’. The Marquise’s thoughts swerve swiftly from imagining various places in which to hide the poison in stanza 5 to envisioning the various people she could murder in the future stanza 6. This sudden change of tense highlights her erratic nature, and warns the reader about the instability of her mind. The change from ‘Had I’ to ‘Soon’ shows that the Marquise thoughts have turned from longing for possession of the poison to formulating a plan which she intends to carry out. This adds a sinister feel, and the Marquise is further presented as an ominous and
Open Document