Robert Browning’s Poetry “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”

Categories: Poetry

Robert Browning’s “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister” is, as the title suggests, the soliloquy of an unnamed monk, complaining to himself against Brother Laurence, another monk whom he has to be cloistered with in the monastery. He accuses the other monk with numerous immoralities and values against their faith and chosen vocation. However, the very offenses that he accuses Brother Laurence with reveal his own violation of each one. The monk’s grumpy mood can be inferred from the non-verbal words in the poem like “Gr-r-r” (line 1) and “Whew!

” (line 17) and the colloquial expressions of disgust like “Saint, forsooth! ” (line 25).

In spite the anger, the rhyme and rhythm are regular and restrained all throughout, in consistence with the formal and self-righteous personality of the speaker. He remains dignified externally, but seethes inside. Meanwhile, the stanzas enumerate the many accusations the monk levels against Brother Laurence, all of which expose his own hypocrisies. In the fourth stanza, the monk accuses the other of desiring Brown Dolores.

Get quality help now
RhizMan
RhizMan
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Literature

star star star star 4.9 (247)

“ Rhizman is absolutely amazing at what he does . I highly recommend him if you need an assignment done ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

At the same time, he describes her with details that are beyond a cursory description like his comment on her “Blue-black, lustrous steeping tresses…thick like horsehairs” (lines 28-29), revealing his own hidden desires for the woman. In the fifth stanza, he criticizes Brother Laurence’s table manners, how “when he finishes reflection/ Knife and fork he never lays/ Cross-wife” (lines 33-36) like the self-righteous speaker does after meals.

Here he is guilty of thinking badly about his fellow and vanity for thinking he is better than the other man.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Topic
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

He also plans to tempt the other monk with his own copy of a “scrofulous French novel” (line 57), exposing his own lustful preoccupation. The final hypocrisy is shown in the final lines where the monk intersperses his vesper prayers with a curse against Brother Laurence, implicating himself to heresy.

Work Cited

Browning, Robert. “Soliluquy of the Spanish Cloister. ”

Cite this page

Robert Browning’s Poetry “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”. (2017, Feb 28). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/robert-brownings-soliloquy-of-the-spanish-cloister-essay

Robert Browning’s Poetry “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment