This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

'And Yet God Has Not Said a Word': the Dramatic Monologue as Inverted and Secularized Prayer




Halbert, Steven

Type of Degree





Nearly a decade ago, Dennis Taylor identified certain practical applications of religious criticism as a gap within the critical discourses of academia. This gap alarmed me as I read Robert Browning’s “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister” along with some of its relevant criticism, because the opening stanza of this dramatic monologue mentions a “Brother Lawrence” (l. 3), but, despite the existence of a historical Brother Lawrence, no critical work has explored the potential relationship between Robert Browning and Brother Lawrence’s writing and theology. The thematic link between the two works is undeniably present; thus I shall explore how Lawrence’s work, The Practice of the Presence of God, may inform our understanding of Browning’s “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister.”