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How to Read a Poem
Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay
The Glass Mask
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The Laboratory Symbolism, Imagery & Wordplay
There’s more to a poem than meets the eye.
The Glass Mask
This is really the first object we read about in the poem, just as we're getting settled in. It might be a little hard to even tell what it is at first. Combined with the poem's title, and the rest...
Here's a second sinister symbol! (Argh, more alliteration! How awful! What have you done to us, Bobby Browning?) Just like the glass mask, the smoke in the lab lets us know that we're in a creepy p...
There is a ton of talk about poison in "The Laboratory." It's the thing that drives the whole poem's plot. It's why the speaker is in the lab. It's what she's going to use to achieve her ugly desir...
Our speaker uses this word as an allusion to the whole glittering, fancy world of the royal court. It's a place for dancing and flirting and pleasure, everything the grimy laboratory is not. Our sp...
On the one hand, this is just another thing lying around the laboratory. On the other hand, nothing in this poem seems really innocent, and we can sort of imagine this "phial" pulsing with an evil,...
This is just one object we could pick out of a whole bunch in the poem, but we think it's a great symbol of feminine appeal, which is such an important theme in this text. The way that ladies dance...
Like a haunted forest from any Saturday morning cartoon, this poem is full of evil eyes. Staring eyes have a kind of magic to them in "The Laboratory." They can enchant and entrap, and they can alm...
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