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Robert Browning's "Red Cotton Night-Cap Country": Language and Evaluation of Character

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Title: Robert Browning's "Red Cotton Night-Cap Country": Language and Evaluation of Character
Authors: McClenahan, Patricia
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to render an evaluation of the characters in "Red Cotton Night-cap Country" through an analysis of the language utilized in the poem. What does the language which the speaker uses tell the reader about him, about his audience, about the characters in the story he tells? Background of the Poem: Robert Browning's 4247-line poem, “Red Cotton Night-cap Country; or Turf and Towers” was not well received by the audience of the day. His contempories found the tale a sordid one, the telling of it tedious. Modern critics have, for the most part, approached the poem in a brief and generally superficial manner, occasionally alluding to it in order to reinforce a point of criticism in a study of other of the poet's works. W.C. DeVane says of "Red Cotton Night-cap Country”: "The poem loses in intensity because it is narrative instead of dramatic monologue. In this respect, as in its complete failure, it is comparable to 'Sordello'." However, Charline R. Kvapil, in her 1967 article concerning Browning's poem, "How It Strikes a Contemporary" comments, "The difficulty critics have had in reaching accord regarding Browning's poetic principles… may stem in part from their failure to read the poem as a dramatic monologue and consequently from their failure to regard the speaker as the central focus of the poem."
Pages/Duration: 27 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/31810
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for English



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