Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Reading Period 22: Feb 5 - 11: Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Read the selections on Robert Browning in the textbook: pages 638-646.
Read about Elizabeth Barrett Browning on her Wikipedia page.
Read The Cry of the Children by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Read two sonnets by Elizabeth Barrett Browning on page 669.


Choose two of these assignments to occupy you this week:

Art Connection:

Is that you, my last duchess? You big flirt?
Take a look at some Italian Renaissance portraits at this Google Images link. Then read the poem "My Last Duchess" and try to imagine what the Duke's wife's portrait would have looked like. Reproduce it in color in the medium of your choice, with as many period details as you can include, and using details from the poem to guide you.

History Connection:

Read this article about child labor during the industrial revolution. The Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem "The Cry of the Children" was written in support of the "Ten Hours Bill." What was the Ten Hour Bill, what relief did it bring to working children? Google it, write 250 words connecting the poem to the legislature. 

Writing Connection:

Write a poem as if you are out of the country and missing Virginia. Model it on Browning's poem "Home Thoughts, from Abroad." You can set it in any season, but make sure you include lots of Virginia-specific imagery, like the birds, trees, and plants that Browning included in his poem.


Write the answers to these questions and submit them to me in an email by midnight on Monday.

1. Why do we have so many of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poems that she wrote as a child? And what is this collection called, when we read works that an author created when they were very young?
2. How did Elizabeth's father respond to her marriage to Robert Browning?
3. How long were Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning married?
4. To whom did Elizabeth Barrett Browning write her "Sonnets from the Portuguese" and why did she call them that?
5. Based on the poem "My Last Duchess," will the Duke make a nice husband for the count's daughter?
6. How would you characterize the Duke's wife who's pictured in the portrait? What sort of person was she?
7. What is a dramatic monologue?
8. What clue does the speaker of "Home Thoughts, From Abroad" give as to the place where he currently lives?
9. What does Browning imagine is on the other side of death, in the poem "Prospice"?
10. What two features of Browning's poetry are considered significant, in his lasting contribution to British Literature? His interest in _____________ and his openness to ________, and his stylistic experimentation, including rough ______ and surprising _______.


Every day, read Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 43, found on page 669, out loud to yourself or someone else. In class, see how much of it you can recite from memory.

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