* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Laboratory

The Laboratory

by Robert Browning

Stanza 11 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Line 41

Is it done? Take my mask off! Nay, be not morose; 

  • She wonders again if the poison is done, and asks him to take off the glass mask. 
  • She tells the poison-maker to cheer up, to not be "morose," or sad. 
  • Sorry, but after hearing about how this woman wanted the horrible pain of death to eat another lady's face, we might feel a little "morose" too.

Line 42

It kills her, and this prevents seeing it close: 

  • The mask bugs her because she can't get a close look at the poison that's going to kill her rival.
  • She also reminds us that this woman's death is something she's really excited about.

Line 43-44

The delicate droplet, my whole fortune's fee—
If it hurts her, beside, can it ever hurt me? 

  • She's giving up all her money in return for one little bit of poison, one "delicate droplet." 
  • She's not scared of this deadly stuff either. 
  • She can't imagine how anything that would kill the woman she hates most could ever be bad for her.
  • There's some pretty great alliteration here, too. See that? "Delicate droplet" and "fortune's fee" both repeat the same initial sounds.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement