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The Analysis of the Poem “soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”

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The peculiar essence of the poem "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister" written by Robert Browning lies in the impression of violent and disordered hatred. This feeling is revealed by the very structure of the work. The poem is framed by bestial growl at first word and closing line. The first onomatopeaic growl opens the soliloquist’s confession of malice for Brother Lawrence: "Gr-r-r -- there go my heart's abhorrence!/ Water your damned flowerpots, do!" Another "Gr-r-r" marks the end of the work. Both instances reinforce certain bestiality in the speaker’s nature directed by immense anger. The same effect is obtained by certain curse words: "God's blood, would not mine [hate] kill you!" (4). Precisely, the soliloquy is mainly a shape of rage brought on by this deeply rooted hatred.

The poem is arranged in stanzas, each with its own function. After a short opening where the soliloquist reveals his bitter feelings, he presents a list of grievances against the abhorrent Brother Lawrence, who is judged by the standarts of the speaker. He is indignant at the way Lawrence speaks of his flowers (5) talks at table (9-16) and accuses him of lechery and poor table manners (17-40).

The next stanzas are much more disturbing than the ones which proceeded. The speaker should be a religious man, but he is remote from that, since here he searches for paths to damnation to which he would expose Lawrence (49-70). His internal nature is hardly likely to conform to his external appearance.

What is to be insisted upon is that these stanzas give an important hint to the speaker’s mental state. It takes time to compose stanzas and even more time to organise them. Nevertheless the speaker’s mind is able to digest an enduring hatred and transmute it to well-thought-out stanzas. He hates Lawrence to the bone for reasons that seem frivolous to the reader.

The punctuation of the poem inevitably proceeds to a more intelligible exposition of the strength of the soliloquist’s feelings. Exclamation points are widespread such as in

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