The Refined Image of the Oriental in Browning’s Two Victorian Plays: A Psychoanalytic Reading


The purpose of this paper is to examine the way in which Robert Browning dissociates himself from the predominant Orientalist mode that viewed the Orient as a zone for exoticism. Despite his misconception of the Orient, there are bright aspects in his plays which can be described as a kind of reverence and respect. The study is a psychoanalytic reading of the oppressed Oriental who tries to assimilate, yet he fails. Consequently, psychological problems such as alienation that results from racial prejudice, a damaged self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts develop. At the same time, the study examines betrayal. In other words, the characters surrounding the central character allow Browning to construe the loyalty of the protagonist and the reversal involved in betrayal as stoically accepted. Luria: A Tragedy (1846) and The Return of the Druses (1843) are two Victorian plays to be explored in this study drawing on Frantz Fanon’s psychoanalytic criticism.


Hanan Khaled Al-Jezawi


alienation, assimilation, betrayal, Druze, Moor, psychology