AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number 1. February 2021 Pp. 201-209

Insanity and Murder in Robert Browning’ and Robert Lowell’s Dramatic Monologues

Department of English Language
College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad
Baghdad, Iraq


The study aims at fathoming Robert Browning’ and Robert Lowell’s intentions of choosing the dramatic monologue as a means of exploring human psyche. Significantly, the themes of insanity and murder are not ideal from an esthetic perspective, but for Browning and Lowell it provides the key to probe into human character and fundamental motives. This study examines Browning’ and Lowell’s dramatic monologues that address crime and the psyche of abnormal men. Browning’ and Lowell’s poetry in this regard unravels complicated human motivations and delineates morbid psychologies. Their monologues probe deep down into the mind-sets of their characters and dissect their souls to the readers. The main character of each of Browning’s dramatic monologues, My Last Duchess and Porphyria’s Lover; discloses his true self, mental health, and moral values through his monologue in a critical situation. Ironically, each monologue invites the reader to detect the disparity between what the character believes the story to be and the reality of the situation detected through the poem. In Lowell’s The Mills of the Kavanaughs, the monologue is delivered by the victim herself. Yet, the fact that the poem reflects Lowell’s individual experience and trauma indicates that the monologue is delivered by the poet-victimizer as well

Cite as:

Sulaiman, M. Q. (2021). Insanity and Murder in Robert Browning’ and Robert Lowell’s Dramatic Monologues. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (1) 201-209.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no1.14


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Asst. Prof. Maha Qahtan Sulaiman, Ph.D., teaches at the Department of English Language, College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad. Her major is English Literature. She received her Ph. D. degree from University Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6994-987X