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Ulysses


            Robert Browning and Alfred Lord Tennyson were poets of the Victorian era who utilized the .
             poetic form of dramatic monologue to protest the social standards of their time. While Browning wrote .
             "The Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister" about moral hypocrisy, Tennyson expressed his views about .
             the need for individual assertion and the rebellion against bourgeois conformity through "Ulysses." The .
             result is the development of two very self righteous characters who place more value on themselves .
             than the external world. .
             Browning's "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister" is an extremely entertaining poem which .
             humorously captures the muttering's of an envious monk who tends to be prone to sensuality rather .
             than spirituality. While the speaker perceives himself as the model of goodness, he condemns a fellow .
             monk, Brother Lawrence for his corruptive nature. However, it soon becomes clear that the faults he .
             issues to Lawrence are purely his own, reflected on an innocent bore. It becomes obvious that when he .
             explicitly describes Brother Lawrence's lust for Dolores and Sanchicha that he must have an ungodly .
             interest in the women in order to recall such specifics. Otherwise how would he observe that their .
             tresses are "Blue-black, lustrous, thick like horsehairs." (212) When the speaker suspects Brother .
             Lawrence is reading his "scrofulous French novel" (213) in secrecy, he carelessly reveals that he is in .
             possession of such pornography. These accusations show the speaker to be ill placed in religious .
             servitude. This Monk's fantasy about eternally damning Lawrence to hell leads to the inference that .
             the victim is a subject of jealousy because he is man who will be blessed with eternal life. The Speaker .
             .
             also reveals that he does not always think before acting when he considers making an .
             .
             agreement with Satan to harm Brother Lawrence. He proclaims that he could make Satan believe he .


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