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Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning: Sympathy and Judgment in Andrea

Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning: Sympathy and Judgment in Andrea

Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning: Sympathy and Judgment in Andrea

Q. Browning’s characterization of Andrea moves between sympathy and judgment. Justify the relevance of the statement with reference to the poem.

Answer: The statement about Browning's characterization of Andrea moving between sympathy and judgment is relevant to Robert Browning's dramatic monologue "Andrea del Sarto." In this poem, Browning presents the character of Andrea del Sarto, a Renaissance painter, who speaks to his wife, Lucrezia, about their life and artistic ambitions. The poem reveals Andrea's complex personality and his relationship with his wife, which indeed fluctuates between sympathy and judgment.

Elements of Sympathy:

   - Browning allows readers to sympathize with Andrea because he portrays him as a talented but underappreciated artist. Andrea is known as "the faultless painter" because of his exceptional technical skill, but he has not achieved the fame and recognition that he believes he deserves. Readers can sympathize with his unfulfilled artistic ambitions and his sense of wasted potential.

   - Andrea's marriage to Lucrezia is presented in a sympathetic light initially. He is genuinely in love with her, and they share a common artistic dream of moving to France to further their careers. This shared dream creates a sense of unity and sympathy between them.

Elements of Judgment:

   - As the poem unfolds, it becomes evident that Andrea is a somewhat passive character who fails to stand up for his artistic integrity. He sacrifices his artistic vision to cater to Lucrezia's material desires and is critical of himself for doing so. Readers might judge him for not being more assertive and for compromising his artistic ideals.

   - Andrea's judgment of Lucrezia also becomes apparent as he criticizes her for her extravagance and her inability to understand the true essence of art. He blames her for their failure to move to France and fulfill their artistic ambitions, shifting the reader's sympathy more towards Lucrezia.

Overall, "Andrea del Sarto" presents a nuanced portrayal of a character whose actions and decisions elicit both sympathy and judgment from readers. Browning skillfully navigates between these two sentiments to create a multifaceted character who grapples with his own flaws and weaknesses. This characterization adds depth to the poem and invites readers to contemplate the complexities of human relationships, artistic ambition, and the choices we make in pursuit of our goals.

*****

Read also:

๐Ÿ‘‰ Andrea del Sarto | a Dramatic Monologue  

๐Ÿ‘‰ Andrea del Sarto | Characterization of Andrea  

๐Ÿ‘‰ School for Scandal | an eighteenth-century comedy of manners  

๐Ÿ‘‰ The King of the Golden River | John Ruskin’s portrayal of Nature  

๐Ÿ‘‰ Preface to the Lyrical Balads | a manifesto of Romantic Criticism 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Moll Flanders | a Realistic Novel 

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