Essay Analysis Of Robert Browning 's Poem ' Love Among The Ruins '

1337 Words Apr 21st, 2016 6 Pages
The Victorian Age is in large part characterized by its prudish and moralizing social mores. To adhere to Victorian standards of propriety, one was expected to largely repress his or her emotions and desires, often in an unhealthy way. As a result of these attitudes, many who lived in the Victorian Age internalized much undeserved guilt and were conflicted between their natural impulses and the judgmental eyes of others. In Robert Browning’s poem “Love among the Ruins,” a man contemplates the repressed, moralistic values that prevail in society and longs for the earthy, hedonistic attitudes of the past, which the girl who waits to meet with him symbolizes. Restrictive, high-minded principles abound in society during the lifetime of the narrator. The speaker lives in the Victorian period, which is notorious for upholding propriety above much—if not, all—else. Even the word “Victorian” has become synonymous with these values, used after the Victorian age to describe something as sanctimonious or repressive. Likewise, it is often “employed in [a] . . . pejorative sense, as prudish or old-fashioned” (“Victorian 536-7). Indeed, the whole era is summed up as silly and pretentious by this usage of the word—but moreover, the word itself is an insult. This suggests the extent to which the subsequent generation disliked the Victorians, or at least their prudish customs; they felt so negatively about these conventions that they characterized the whole era in a disparaging…

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