The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Monday, 14 March 2011

Fra Lippo Lippi lesson

H/WDo Self assessment for Porphyria’s Lover Essays.

Do Fra Lippo Lippi’s questions.

2 (a) Write about the ways Browning tells the story in lines 1-39 of “Fra Lippo Lippi” (21 marks)

(b) “Fra Lippo Lippi is about the significance of art in a civilized society”. How do you respond to this view of the poem? (21 marks)

Research “risorgimento”.

“Fra Lippo Lippi,” another of Browning’s dramatic monologues, appeared in the 1855 collection Men and Women. Fra (Brother) Lippo Lippi was an actual Florentine monk who lived in the fifteenth century. He was a painter of some renown, and Browning most probably gained familiarity with his works during the time he spent in Italy. “Fra Lippo Lippi” introduces us to the monk as he is being interrogated by some Medici watchmen, who have caught him out at night. Because Lippo’s patron is Cosimo de Medici, he has little to fear from the guards, but he has been out partying and is clearly in a mood to talk. He shares with the men the hardships of monastic life: he is forced to carry on his relationships with women in secret, and his superiors are always defeating his good spirits. But Lippo’s most important statements concern the basis of art: should art be realistic and true-to-life, or should it be idealistic and didactic? Should Lippo’s paintings of saints look like the Prior’s mistress and the men of the neighborhood, or should they evoke an otherworldly surreality? Which kind of art best serves religious purposes? Should art even serve religion at all? Lippo’s rambling speech touches on all of these issues.

We spent the lesson reading through and analysing the poem discussing themes. Some people argued that the main theme of the poem was the hypocrisy of religion and it was a reflection of the period of time when browning questioned his religious beliefs. However others said that the main theme was art and its value to society, whereas the liberal members of our classroom maintained the idea that the poem addressed both themes at once


  1. Profile:

    Name: Filippo Lippi
    Born: Florence 1406 - 1469
    Occupation: Italian Painter
    Famous works:
    Madonna and child enthroned


    Was in early movement of renaissance


  2. I like the hypocricy Browning is trying to present but I think is unfair he chose it to show it through religion.


  3. Great blog... but who are you?

    Who wrote the blog?!!!?!?!?!?


  4. Yahaya wrote it.

    The way that Browning presents the debate of art and religion through having different speakers, really helps show the different views of the Victorian society.

    Esmeralda ;)

  5. I think that this poem is the personification of the way in which Browning was questioning God and his authority. I believe that the eight year old boy mentioned in the poem itself could be a reference to Browning himself, though he may not have literally been taken in by the church or been starving on the street, but the church did take Browning in a metaphorical way. He never had a choice; during this time period people were born Christian with no choice.

    Roman A.

  6. Religion is something which has haunted Lippo Lippi; making his life a mess and a complete sham. Art is the only way out for him and he uses this to express his emotions.

    Chris W

  7. Thanks for the blog, it was very detailed.
    I agree with Aisha, this poem is all about hypocrisy.


  8. you copied the summary from spark notes...

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