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What is the significance of the title of the play The Browning Version?

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piyaleedps | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 18, 2007 at 3:37 PM via web

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What is the significance of the title of the play The Browning Version?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 18, 2007 at 9:00 PM (Answer #1)

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Andrew and his young charge, Taplow, are working on a play together.  Andrew has done a translation of the work itself.  Taplow wants to give a gift to the schoolmaster, and goes to get the Robert Browning translation.  The gift affects Andrew deeply - he is moved by the gesture, and begins to believe that he is better liked than he assumed.  When his wife's rude words cast doubt on this, Frank intervenes and tell's Andrew that young Taplow does like him, and that Andrew is a good man.

The title here is referencing self-image.  Andrew's image of himself - like his translation - is weak and substandard.  However, when he receives the book, he begins to see another version of himself and his life.  This version, like the Browingin version of the play, is more sophisticated.  He is reborn and becomes a stronger character, standing up to his wife in the end. 

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