Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name





Browning, Robert, 1812-1889; Women in literature


No other poet has given to the world such a diversity of woman characters as has Robert Browning. Longing for variety he represents his womanhood, not in classes but by individual differentiation; he portrays the simple, the complex, the subtle, the particular, the impulsive and others--each distinct from the rest. Browning emphasizes natural charms less than intellectual and moral loveliness. He strives to depict women as they are in themselves. By suggestions of spiritual nature, by delicate workmanship, he sets his feminine character before us. With dexterous versatility he creates type after type, each a character in herself. Two of the important dramas, Pippa Passes and Columbe's Birthday are named for women. More than twenty of the poems have titles or suggestions of women's names. Browning places woman side by side with man. He considers her as important and as interesting, placing her sometimes in situations where she is instrumental in bringing about the catastrophe of the drama. There is no patronage but a candid admission of mutual help and assistance. Again and again it is the feminine character who sees the truth and impresses it upon the men in the story. Some of his women characters are keenly susceptible to the influence of flowers, skies, landscapes; it is from them we get in Browning some descriptive passages that are filled with great beauty.