3/05/2019

Tennyson as a writer of Dramatic Monologue.


Dramatic monologue is a type of poem in which there is a speaker and a listener or listeners. The listener remains silent all
through the poem but we infer his presence from what the speaker says. The speaker's utterance is a response to an important event.
Tennyson and Browning are famous for writing dramatic monologues. Tennyson is the pioneer in this regard.

In many of his poems, there is a speaker who is present in a dramatic situation. In "Locksley Hall", we find a speaker who returns
to the Locksley Hall many years later and narrates the story of his own past. We come to know from his speech that once he fell in love
with his cousin Amy. However, their love was a failure, as Amy surrendered to her parents' wishes and married another man. The
incident has left a permanent scar in his heart.
In a dramatic monologue, although the listener remains silent, his character is understood from the impression he produces upon
the speaker. In "Locksley Hall" there is a pure sign in the beginning that the speaker is addressing to his mariners.

Dramatic monologue provides an understanding of the speaker's character and temperament. Thus in, "Locksley Hall", we find that the speaker is an irresolute young man whose heart always moves between
hope and doubt. At first he feels in harmony with the scientific spirit of his age. Then the lost love made him frustrated. Again he vaunts at the glory of England.

The feature of implied action such as when he asks his mariners to come to the port also play significant role in confirming the poem's form as a dramatic monologue.
The character of 'brevity' the deliberate shortness in certain sentences to increase the effect - in sentences such as "he works his
work, I mine" also is a feature of dramatic monologue which is present in this poem.

Tennyson's poems contain all the major elements of a dramatic monologue. In these poems, a character speaks aloud and expresses his thoughts to the silent speaker or speakers. The others merely listen to him. Tennyson's poems have the definite characteristics of speaker, audience, occasion, revelation of character, interplay between speaker and audience, and dramatic action which takes place in the present. Thus, they are perfect examples of dramatic monologue.

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