Robert Browning

     - Developed dramatic monologue after his long poem Sordello (1840) was widely criticized.  He wanted a method of allowing the reader to see behind the mask of the speaker in the poem.  If the speaker is talking to someone else rather than us, then we can get some insight into the person's viewpoint.

A dramatic monologue is a conversation between two (or more) people, but you only hear one side of it.   It's like listening to a friend on the telephone & trying to figure out the rest of the conversation.  Gives insight into personality of speaker because they aren’t tailoring conversation to please you, the eavesdropper.

     Developed this because he was criticized by John Stuart Mill for being too impersonal in his writing.

"Porphyria’s Lover"

"Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister"


"My Last Duchess (pg 1985)"

"The Bishop Orders His Tomb" (1987)