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‘The laboratory’, ‘Education for Leisure’ and ‘hitcher’

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In the poems ‘The laboratory’, ‘Education for Leisure’ and ‘Hitcher’ the theme of crime is presented through the use of dramatic persona’s being criminals for various reasons.

In the poem ‘The lab’, Browning uses a dramatic persona, which seems to be a potential murderer that is cruel and calculating. The evidence for this is in the line:

‘While they laugh, laugh at me, at me fled to the drear… I am here’

This also presents the driving power of revenge anger. The poem is written in first person to involve the reader by creating a sense that it’s suppose to be spoken to them. It also shows that the poem is written in present tense creating a sense of immediacy. The repetition of the word “laugh” shows the writers enthusiasm towards the reader’s perception of the speaker as emotionally distraught. The poem ‘Education for leisure’ also used a dramatic persona. This appears to be a murderer:

‘Today I am going to kill something’

This demonstrates that the poem is written in present tense to give it a sense of danger, because crime could occur at any given moment. Similarly, in the poem ‘Hitcher’, a dramatic persons is used to convey a criminal that appears to have taken his anger out on a hitchhiker:

‘I let him have it’

The use of first person involves the reader creating the sense that the speaker is talking to you, which indicates that the speaker is being prompted with questions. Past tense in the sentence, suggests it could be a confession to serious assault that may have led to death.

Short sentences are used in ‘Hitcher’ to create a slow pace, which builds tension that causes an impact on the reader:

‘One more sick-note, mister, and you’re finished. Fired.’

This also gives evidence for a motive, that in anger of having restrictions, unlike a hitchhiker, the speaker used violence to relieve stress and jealousy. In ‘EFL’ short sentences are also used:

‘I am a genius.’

This disjoints the poem giving the reader time to think, which adds uncertainty to emphasise the speaker’s self-importance. In addition, ‘The lab’ uses short sentences to create tension:

‘Quick-is it finished? The colours to grim!’

This suggests that the speaker is disappointed that the poison isn’t beautiful, as she/he seems very excited about the prospect of murder, and therefore everything to do with it should be ‘exquisite’.

The speakers in both “Ed for Leisure” and “lab” have a potentially mentally deranged side of their character. For example, in ‘ed’:

‘I am going to play God’

This suggests that the speaker is going to take lives. This anti social behaviour is through anger caused by ‘being ignored’. Whereas in ‘the lab’ as the poem progresses the speaker becomes more excited, shown by the exclamation marks:

‘Brand, burn bite into grace- he is sure to remember her dying face!’

Alliteration is used to emphasise the importance of the speaker wanting the victim to die slowly and painfully. This also shows that the speaker has no conscience.

In ‘the lab’ the speaker highly fascinated about the prospect of making poisons because she/he persists on asking questions:

‘you call it a gum?… And yonder soft phial, the exquisite blue, sure to taste sweetly, -is that poison too?’

The use of positive adjectives inform the reader that she/he is relating the deadly fermentation as beautiful, harmless colours which shows that she/he is truly mad. The rhetorical questions catch the reader’s imagination and give them a feeling of evolvement.

In conclusion I think the poems are successful in conveying to the reader the feeling of resentment and envy, which lead to crimes such as murder. They all have different motives for the crimes but it is not known that all the speakers are successful in carrying out their potential murder.

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