Thoughts of Robert Browning
Robert Browning (1812-1889) spent his time in the private library of his father and much of his education came from his well-read father.
Thoughts of Robert Browning
There are some common chords in the poetry of Robert Browning.He has reflected his ideas in his poems- which contains his personal and private experiences. The fact is that like Shaw- he is a ventriloquist. There is a co-relation between his life and poetry.
Browning is one of the most philosophical among dramatic poets. He has his definite views on life to express. He has not presented his ideas in an obtrusive manner.
His approach to life is essentially religious and individualistic. He conceives of humanity-“not as an aggregate, but as a collection of units”. He concerns himself with individual man and woman, each having his own distinct personality and own purpose and mode of life. Every individual has his own goal of life and his own problems to solve. The ultimate end of each individual is complete self-development through perfect self-expression. Every individual has to strive relentlessly to achieve this purpose. He has to struggle hard, because his path is dogged by all sorts of troubles and hindrances by evil in its multifarious forms. This struggle is more inward than outward, because one has to “wring knowledge from ignorance”. But Browning is fearless. He is not daunted by evil. Evil to him is not the enemy of good. It is an essential element for the attainment of good. Rather it is a form of good itself:-“Evil-the scheme by which, throng ignorance, good labours to exist.”Evil to him -is the necessary condition of the evolution of good:-
“The evil is null,is nought,
Is silence implying sound
What was good shall be good,
With for evil
So much good more.”
Evil is a stepping-stone to self-progress. Evil by contrast gives meaning to good and defines its qualities. By doing evil man gets grace to do well.
“When pain ends, gain ends too.”
It is true that ‘failures are the pillars of success.’
“And what is our failure here but a triumphs’ evidence.”On the same ground, doubt is necessary for faith:
“You must mix some uncertainty
With faith, if you would have faith be.”
Doubt acts as a trial of faith.
“With me faith means perpetual unbelief
Kept quiet like the snakes ‘neath Michael’foot
Who stands calm just because he feels it right.”
The most important thing in our life is to keep steps towards perfection. Without imperfection progress is not possible. For, perfection spells stagnation:-
“Most progress is most failure.”It is man’s nature that he raises from the earth’s level. Man’s powers are limited but aspirations are unlimited. Lofty aim and endless striving are the two tools to fight life’s struggle; and these are the objects of success in life. Thus we see that. The Philosophy of Robert Browning is rooted in optimism. We fall to rise, and sleep to awake.