Explore the Concepts of Success and Failure in a Grammarian’s Funeral and One Other Poem by Robert Browning.
1383 WordsMay 2, 20136 Pages
Explore the concepts of success and failure in A Grammarian’s Funeral and one other poem by Robert Browning. In A Grammarian’s Funeral we get an ambiguous idea of whether the Grammarian’s life has been a success or a failure. Though there is much evidence that the poet believes he has served his life well, there is also a slight suggestion that the poet disagrees with the thoughts of the Grammarian’s students and instead believes that he has had a wasted life. A poem to compare to this, also dealing with accomplishment and disappointment, is Apparent Failure, which discusses the destruction of a celebrated morgue and imagines the lives of those who had tragically committed suicide and who had therefore found themselves displayed for…show more content…
This could be further emphasised by his saying that they will have their “sins atoned” thus he believes they are due for forgiveness when they get to heaven. However, much of what he says could be taken with a hint of sarcasm and a sardonic tone. In almost a patronising way, the speaker describes the man’s downfall; “Oh women were the prize for you! Money gets women, cards and dice”. What follows are three phrases of similar structure arguing that “it’s wiser being good than bad” and two similar points of advice. Is there a hint of sarcasm when he says this? Along with his frequent repetition of religion and God - for example the end of the poem that argues “nor what God blessed once, prove accurst”. Could this be a reference to his nonconformist views and that actually this poem is a comment on how traditional Christians view suicide? Again, it is quite ambiguous as Browning intended, but if you think to his views, perhaps he is trying to portray the fact that he doesn’t think these men who have committed suicide are to be scolded and that instead it is the life they are escaping that should be looked at.
Another way failure can be seen in A Grammarian’s Funeral could be by the representation of the countryside and life up the mountains (perhaps an allegory for the cities). It’s a common stereotype that country people are stupid; uneducated and lacking completely in any