Page 1 of 7

European Journal of Business &

Social Sciences

Available at

ISSN: 2235-767X

Volume 07 Issue 01

January 2019

Available online: P a g e | 1

Theme of love in Robert Browning’s Poetry


It is an established fact that Robert Browning has presented the theme of love

in all varied manifestation. He is one of the greatest love poets who has

contributed a great deal to the development of this theme. No doubt, his love

poems reflect a perfect equilibrium of faith that happens to be nectar of ecstasy

in human life. In Browning’s poetry, one can witness more unfathomable

depths into the human heart with the delicate matter that stuff it, upon which

Browning’s name and fame and the whole glory as the poet of love and his

eternality as a great poet stands. Love, for Browning, is also the supreme

principle for both, morality and religion.

Key-words: Emotion, Human, Optimism, Dramatic Lyric


Love theme has been the substance or subject matter of poetry from the time

immemorial, and the poetry of different ages and views have analysed and

expressed the emotion of love in a variety of shapes and manners. Shakespeare

has made a dramatic expression of true love, and Spenser has made a



Dyal Singh College, Karnal

Prof. of English


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European Journal of Business &

Social Sciences

Available at

ISSN: 2235-767X

Volume 07 Issue 01

January 2019

Available online: P a g e | 2

passionate illustration of the love in his sonnet collection, Amoretti. John

Donne has also explored variety of moods and kinds of love in his love poetry.

After John Donne, it is Robert Browning who has made a comprehensive and

all inclusive expression of love in his poetry. Although Robert Browning is an

innovator of the poetic technique of dramatic monologue, and a seer of

optimistic vision of life, he is also a reflective and spiritual lover, who treats

love both as an experience and an ultimate vision of human life.

For Robert Browning, love is the supreme expression and function of human

soul. He considers love to be the governing force of this universe. For

Browning, love is the other name of God. Love is the only source which can

unite man with God. Broadly speaking, Browning wrote two kinds of love

poems-personal and dramatic. His personal poems of love are few as his bent

of mind is fundamentally dramatic. That is why, the poetic works of Robert

Browning abound in love experiences ranging from an unsuccessful love of The

Last Ride Together through the contended married love of One Word More up to

the impulsive love of Evelyn Hope, and the psyche love of Porphyria’s Lovers.

The very opening lines of One Word More, speak of Browning’s love for his wife,

appended as an epilogue to Browning’s collection of fifty dramatic monologues,

entitled Men and Women as the poet himself says:

“There they are, my fifty men and women

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European Journal of Business &

Social Sciences

Available at

ISSN: 2235-767X

Volume 07 Issue 01

January 2019

Available online: P a g e | 3

Naming me the fifty poems finished!

Take them, Love, the book and me together

Where the heart lies, let the brain die also.”

The lover in The Last Ride Together, after having understood his fortune, requests his beloved to

Take back the hope you gave,-I claim

Only a memory of some”

Even though the lover has failed to realize his dreams, he tries to extract consolation

and relief by asking for the last ride together as well as by commenting or by general

endeavour, as he says:

Fail I alone in words and deeds ?

Why all men strive and who succeeds?

Then he makes a meaningful comparison of love with the reward and honour bestowed

upon a soldier, a sculptor, a statesman, and a musician by the world. Finally, the

lover tries to immortalize presumption of the doom’s day. In the same way, we get a

beautiful poetic expression of personal emotions of love in the poem, One Word More,

where Browning and his wife are more interested in Rafael’s sonnets and Dante’s

painting of Angel than in their professional excellences, as the poet says:

What of Rafael’s sonnets and Dante’s pictures?

The original and strikingly new idea of love gets illuminated when the poet suggests

that lovers should have stored some water in his breast to quench the thirst of his