Aqa English Lit B Section A: Can you mark my essay please!!!Watch
Fra Lippo Lippi is a dramatic monologue which is incidentally conveyed from the occurrence the poem first starts from – the seizure of Fra Lippo by city guards, past midnight, in an equivocal neighbourhood which leads to a lively talk about his past as a Florentine artist monk; all this contributes to his presentation as a realist, secular monk whose values are for flesh and protests as to whether art should be an idealized image of religion as opposed to true to life.
Browning authenticates speech by having the poem set with no rhyme, no stanzas but in blank verse – clarifying early on the direction of speech with the conversational effect that it brings “Do-harry out”. Browning also incorporates a linear chronology which gives the poem a real-time momentum and helps frame the narrative early on; the beginning sets it ‘past midnight’ ‘at an alleys end’, Lippo is a ‘monk’ and guards had him by his ‘throat’.
Fra Lippo Lippi embodies the setting of Renaissance Florence; Browning’s choice is significant as it symbolises many of the concerns embedded within the story: churches, religious devotion and sexual desire. For instance, Browning incorporates the concern of the inconsistencies that the church brings regarding knowledge; one being the soul - “Man’s soul, and it’s a fire, smoke… no, it’s not”. This is further emphasised with Browning’s placement of ellipsis indicating struggled and unfinished thought.
Browning sets a charismatic and confident tone throughout Fra Lippo’s voice; extensively portrayed with the use of exclamations and questioning which attributes a superior quality – this helps focus on the narrative he talks about. A prime example Browning uses this is the shift in narrative from Fra Lippo’s situation – “you need not clap your torches to my face” “your hand…on my throat” – which in response Fra Lippo’s aggressive tone of voice allows him to take control and “sit and set things straight now”.
Browning also incorporates the use of other voices which becomes a prominent factor of showing Fra Lippo’s past and the exploration of arts direction in life and religion. “The monks praised in a circle and praised loud” is countered with “it’s devils game!” as Browning contrasts other monks own thoughts which further emphasises its inconsistencies. Browning also uses this to explore arts division as Fra Lippo challenges religions ideology with questions such as “Now is this sense, I ask?”.
Narrative is embedded within the climax of his “praised” art as a murderer is “safe and sitting there with the little children round him in a row of admiration, half for his beard and half for that white anger of his victim’s son” giving an extensive overload of information: Browning illustrates his drunken state as one would ramble on which is also supported by the inclusive use of enjambment throughout the poem – portraying the rambled and lively mind of the monk.
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