what is critical appreciation of the last ride together by Robert Browning?

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alison3000 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In some ways this is a typical poem by Browning in that it is a dramatic monologue; this means that Browning is writing in the first person as a created character. The poem is addressed to the lover of the speaker who never replies so we only get the point of view of the speaker.

The poem seems modern in its outlook when we consider that it is the woman who seems to hold the power in that she is the one who has decided to end the relationship. The speaker is sad about this but also does not regret the affair but rather is grateful for it. He acknowledges that 'all men strive and who succeeds?' but crucially this does not mean that we should not try. He tries to 'fix' the last moments he has with his beloved in his memory and is sure that the love they had was more important than 'A soldier's doing' as all they receive is the reward of being able to 'scratch his name on the Abbey-stones.'

For Browning it appears that love, although often intangible, is important and should be celebrated and that people should strive even when things are difficult.