Edith J.Simcox, Fortnightly Review 1873
DOI link for Edith J.Simcox, Fortnightly Review 1873
Edith J.Simcox, Fortnightly Review 1873 book
In those lines Mr. Browning half explains the secret of the power which he and all great dramatists possess of making the same story bear a different meaning, or a different story produce the same effect, according to the mood of the poet or his reader. Nearly all our impressions are interchangeable, because in all the thing signified is distinct from the thing seen, and it rests with the mind to attach what meaning it pleases to the sign. Dramatic art is triumphant when it has given a vivid impression, while at the same time disclosing all the possibilities of significance concealed within it; and it is the constant exercise of this power that makes Mr. Browning’s works, whatever their outer form, so essentially dramatic in effect. His use of the power is sometimes tyrannical, but it is almost irresistible, and if he insists on making nightcaps the object of candid contemplation, we are constrained to admit that-
life, half sleep,’ of Norman villagers, to the tragedy which is the proper subject of the volume.