The artist and the world in the early and middle works of Robert Browning

Tubrett, Joan L. (1989) The artist and the world in the early and middle works of Robert Browning. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Through an examination of Robert Browning's early and middle works, this thesis studies the function and responsibility of the artist in society and the world. Following a brief introduction which looks at Victorian society's expectations of the artist, this study first examines Browning's early works. These early works reveal Browning's uncertainty and doubt as he struggled to define his purpose and to find form. The study of Sordello, Browning's major early work, shows Browning rejecting the aesthetic approach to art. He emphasizes the social responsibility of the artist, and in a direct comment which is rare for Browning, he articulates what is to be his purpose and his duty to man and God. This comment by Browning indicates deep compassion and sympathy for man, and he dedicates his art to the service of man. -- The remainder of this thesis is a study of Browning's artist figures who fail to live up to Browning's ideals of the artist. Chapter four is a study of two artists who work in isolation. The first artist, Jules of Pippa Passes, emphasizes art and beauty; Pictor Ignotus, the second artist, emphasizes that the purity of art is destroyed by contact with the world. The thesis next studies Browning's artist figures who turn to the world. The artist Andrea del Sarto misuses his talent and the world; the other artist, Fra Lippo Lippi, presents many of Browning's theories regarding life and art. This artist sees the importance of the world and man, and he believes his function as an artist is to reproduce the beauty of the world, so that man can be awakened to its meaning and truth. -- Finally, there is a summary of the findings of this study, and the conclusion emphasizes that Browning strongly believed that the artist had a duty and responsibility to the world and man.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7548
Item ID: 7548
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 139-142.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1989
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Browning, Robert, 1812-1889--Characters--Artists; Browning, Robert, 1812-1889--Criticism and interpretation

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