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When discussing the poetic form of dramatic monologue it is rare that it is not associated with and its usage attributed to the poet Robert Browning Robert Browning has been considered the master of the dramatic monologue Although some critics are skeptical of his invention of the form for dramatic monologue is evidenced in poetry preceding Browning it is believed that his extensive and varied use of the dramatic monologue has significantly contributed to the form and has had an enormous impact on modern poetry The dramatic monologues of Robert Browning represent the most significant use of the form in postromantic poetry Preminger and Brogan 799 The dramatic monologue as we understand it today is a lyric poem in which the speaker addresses a silent listener revealing himself in the context of a dramatic situation Murfin 97 The character is speaking to an identifiable but silent listener at a dramatic moment in the speakers life The circumstances surrounding the conversation one side which we hear as the dramatic monologue are made by clear implication and an insight into the character of the speaker may result Holman and Harmon 152 Although Browning wrote numerous dramatic monologues his contemporaries often criticized his works as being too emotional The dramatic monologues of Browning are characterized by certain identifiable traits The three requirements of a Browning dramatic monologue are The reader takes the part of the silent listener The speaker uses a case-making argumentative tone We complete the dramatic scene from within by means of inference and imagination Landow Critics have interpreted the third requirement the readers interpretation and conclusions as a suspension of the readerlistener between sympathy and judgment The reader has a choice regarding the intent of the speaker but heshe must remain removed until the speaker is done making his argument Glenn Everett believes the role of the listener is one of discovery which engages the imagination but the listener must remain detached and
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