Talk:The Patriot (Browning)

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The patriot - An Old Story is typical of Browning in the sense that it reflects his obscurity, deep religiosity and robust optimism. The loose phrses like "all allow", the deliberate use of archaic words like alack, trow etc., beside rendering a taste of oldness, are perfect examples of Browning's obscurity wihich has baffled readers throughout the world. The fact that despite the treacherous fickleness shown by the mob, the Patriot has still optimistic belief that he would be safer in heaven, shows the poet's optimism and religiosity. The biblical taste in the lines "For they fling, whoever has a mind, stones at me..." is truly Brownian signature. The Patriot - An Old Story has a kaleidoscope of visual and auditory images. The roses and myrtle flowers mixed like mad, the old walls rocking, the church spires flaming, the air breaking into mist with bells are images par excellence. The tone of the poem is thus celebration and enjoyment. It then shifts to a promise made by the crowd. When the patriot asked them to fetch the Sun from the yonder skies, which is surely an impossible task, the crowd replied in a frenzy - what next to be done. It shows the immense faith and belief he could nurture in the masses those days. Along with the narrative, the tone shifts to the palsied few, shambles' gate, scaffold's foot, bleeding forehead. The shift in the tone imparts the gravity of the catastrophe in store for the hero, a year after! The ironical balancing of the events and tonality is perhaps the reason why this poem became one of the most anthologized - not to mention the universal appeal it has! By Krishnakumar M Menon, Kerala, India.