Friday, January 24, 2020

The Difficulty of Remembering Robert Browning :: Biography Biographies Essays

The Difficulty of Remembering Robert Browning      Ã‚  Ã‚   It is no great revelation that people primarily either want to be remembered or forgotten, they either want to be noticed or they want to disappear. And it's this binary that celebrities seem to struggle with all the time; constantly wanting to be in the spotlight and all the fame and glory that goes along with it. But once their integrity is compromised, they run and hide and declare their lives to be personal, out of view of the public eye. No one seems to contradict this binary of fame / seclusion more than poet Robert Browning. Although he wanted to be known and remembered, every conscious decision he made within his career seems to have prevented this.    Born in 1812, Robert Browning led a shielded suburban life, in the south of France (Damrosch, 1305). Both his parents were supportive and encouraging of his interests especially when, at the age of 14, he expressed an interest in poetry (Damrosch, 1305).   The poet that sparked Browning's interest in poetry was none other than Percy Bysshe Shelley. P.B. Shelley's poetry affected Browning greatly and even though Browning wasn't writing poetry yet at this time, Shelley was influencing him in other ways (Damrosch, 1305). Percy Shelley was a poet widely known for his radical ideas and beliefs; it was this recognition that most attracted Browning. Robert Browning's path to being a poet was not direct. It was because of Shelley that Browning found this path, but it would be years before he would begin writing (Damrosch, 1305). Browning tried many other career paths before publishing his first poem, among them art, music, law and business (Damrosch, 1305). He published his first poem anonymously at the age of 21 (Damrosch, 1305). It was titled Pauline and was poorly received (Damrosch, 1305). Publishing his first poem anonymously goes against Browning's desire to be well known. Over the next ten years, Browning published various plays and poems that were as poorly received as his first poem (Damrosch, 1305). But it was in 1842 that Browning would get much deserved recognition for his work

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