The Ring and the Book continues, as Guido receives the news of his sentencing. He’s mighty peeved to find out that killing your wife, your kid, and her family is an act with consequences, and that those consequences apply to him.
The Ring and the Book continues. In this segment, the Pope announces his continued belief in God from personal experience, and compares the virtue of a pagan poet without benefit of revelation to the lack of virtue of many of modern days. (Next week we’ll finish this book and move on to the next.)
The Ring and the Book continues, after being abandoned on this podcast since January. (Yes, it’s a little too big for me. I admit it.) For those who weren’t listening back then or who have forgotten in six months, this epic poem about a strange case of a wife’s flight and a family’s murder in Rome, in the days of the Papal States, is ripped from the pages of Italian history. Browning turned a book about the various court cases into a poem about the same events seen from various points of view of testimony and judgment. It’s fascinating stuff, and there’s certainly plenty of it.
In this segment, the Pope finishes thinking about his judgment of the actions of Pompilia and Caponsacchi.
The Ring and the Book continues, as the Pope ponders Guido’s appeal for a stay of execution. (As temporal ruler of the Papal States back then, he had authority over the courts of Rome and other places in his territories.)
The Ring and the Book continues, as the prosecuting attorney continues to argue for Pompilia’s innocence and against Guido’s murderous behavior. Just as with Guido’s defense attorney, some of his arguments are pretty dubious.
By the way, there’s a reading at Librivox now of Chesterton’s book on Robert Browning, which includes a very insightful essay about The Ring and the Book. (And even some words on why these prosecution and defense books are necessary to the poem.) You might want to check it out.
We should be finished with Pompilia’s book next week. Then there’s two lawyers’ books, the Pope’s book, Guido’s second book, and a wrap-up book. And people wonder why book-length poems went out of fashion. Sheeeeeeesh. Even though it’s all Browning and all good, it’s like asking for one small dessert and being served cake for 24….
On the bright side, Argonautica is fast-paced and beautiful! So I guess I’m the shallow type who prefers action to deep psychological realism.