The Patriot Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Patriot Poem is written by Robert Browning.
The Patriot Poem Summary in English by Maya Angelou
The Patriot Poem About the Poet
Robert Browning (1812-1889) was born on May 7, 1812 in Chamberwell, near London. He had little of formal education, but learned a great deal in his father’s substantial library. He was deeply influenced by his vast reading. In 1844 Browning noticed a compliment to himself in a poem by Elizabeth Barret who was a poet of delicate health. Correspondence and visits followed. Secretly, they married in 1846. They left England and settled in Florence in Italy where they lived until Elizabeth’s death in 1861.
Browning wrote both poems and plays. His first poem ‘Pauline’ appeared in 1833. His fame rests on his dramatic monologues. He builds up the characters from within, not merely to depict them from without. He was gifted with wonderful insight, sympathy, extraordinary power of observation and keen psychological penetration. His last volume of poetry Asolando was published on the day of his death in 1889.
The Patriot About the Poem
All about the Poem The Patriot:
The poem is a dramatic monologue. The speaker recalls his heroic achievements a year ago. But just after a year he has fallen in esteem. He is arrested and is being led to the gallows. The patriot believes that God will certainly do justice to him.
‘The Patriot’, first appeared in Men and Women (1855), is a sad commentary on the rise and fall of heroes as a result of whimsical crowd mentality. The poem seems to have been the result of Browning’s experience of the rise and fall of heroes in Italy’s premature struggle to free herself from Austria (1841-49). The patriot in the poem had heroic achievements a year ago.
He was accorded a very warm welcome on his return. But just after a year he has fallen in esteem. He is arrested and is being led to the gallows. People now simply hate him. Some even throw stones at him. Despite his fall, he is ironically optimistic. He feels that God would reward him in heaven, while people have failed to recognize his services. God is the only shelter for those who are betrayed and deserted by their fellow human beings.
The Patriot Poem Theme
I. Fickle-mindedness of people
Ordinary people are not steadfast in their opinions. They are whimsical. This is what the patriot shows in the poem. He was welcomed as a hero after his grand victory by his countrymen. They were ready to do anything for him. Roses were strewn over his path. Church bells were rung to welcome him. But just after a year, his good deeds are forgotten. For some misdeeds he is arrested and is harshly treated. He is led to the scaffold to be executed. People hurl stones at him. This is perhaps the irony of life. One who goes up comes down sooner or later.
II. Spirit of optimism
The patriot in the poem tried to achieve the impossible for the pleasure of his people. He was welcomed as a hero, but then his ‘misdeeds’ turn him into a criminal in the eyes of the same people, just after a year. He feels betrayed and abandoned. But even in the hour of defeat and extreme sorrow he achieves a moral victory. He feels that he has not been rewarded for his services on the earth. Had he been rewarded, God would not have cared for him. But, now betrayed and deserted by the people, he hopes he would be rewarded by God in heaven. So he feels safe in the bosom of God. His faith in God being a true judge marks his unbounded sense of optimism.
The Patriot Poem Summary in English
The poem ‘The Patriot’ depicts the fate of a hero who is glorified and eulogised for his achievements, but it is sad and ironic that his achievements are soon forgotten by the fickle- minded crowd. Sometimes he is treated very harshly.
In the poem, the patriot has been arrested and is being led to the gallows for his misdeeds. As he is being led, he recalls how just a year ago he was hero-worshipped by the same people who are now treating him like a villain. He was then accorded a warm welcome on his return after a glorious victory. His path was strewn with flowers. The church-towers were decorated with victory-flags. Huge crowds were there to welcome him. At that time he could have got anything from the people.
But just after a year he has fallen on evil days. The same people who admired him have become his enemies. He has been arrested and is being led to be executed in public. He recalls how he did his best to serve his people. In a tone of regret he asks what reward he has got for all the troubles taken by him. People have proved to be fickle-minded.
The patriot finds a stark contrast of today’s situation with the one a year ago. While people thronged to have a glimpse of him a year ago, now nobody is on the roof-tops. Most of them have gone to the Shambles’. Gate or are quite near the scaffold in order to have a better view of the execution. Only a few paralysed persons are sitting at the windows.
A rope has been used to tie up his hands more tightly than needed on his back. The rope is so tight that it cuts both his hands. He feels that his forehead is bleeding as some people have hurled stones at him. These stones are the reward of his so-called misdeeds done during the year.
The scene of his tumultuous welcome at his entry in the city a year ago is in sharp contrast with the scene of his disgraceful exit from the city. He is now leaving the city as a hated criminal. Seeing the irony of fate, he pins his hope on God’s justice. If he had been amply rewarded on the earth, he could have been neglected by God. Now abandoned and betrayed by the people, he is hopeful of being rewarded by God for all his services and sacrifices. He feels safe in the bosom of God. Thus, he snatches a moral victory even in his defeat.
The Patriot Poem Stanza Wise Explanation
The patriot recalls how he was welcomed a year ago when he came back after his grand victory. His path was strewn with fragrant roses (symbol of love). The people were mad in their zeal and enthusiasm. The church-towers blazed with victory-flags. But the scene has drastically changed after a year.
The whole atmosphere resounded with the sound of church bells rung in honour of the hero, just a year ago. The crowd surged with joy. The patriot appreciated the enthusiasm of the people. If he had demanded from them something impossible like the sun from the sky, they would have granted him. They would have asked him what else he desired. Such was the time just a year ago.
The patriot says that he tried to do the impossible for the pleasure of his admirers. He did his best. He did whatever he could do for his countrymen. But what reward had he got ? Is this the reward he is getting from his people ? In a sad tone, the patriot feels that people have forgotten all that he had done for them.
As the patriot is being led to the gallows, he finds no one on the house-roofs to bid him farewell. Only a few crippled persons sitting at the windows are watching him. Most of the people have gone to the Shambles’ Gate or are quite near the scaffold to have the best view of his execution.
The patriot is being led to the scaffold in the rain. A long rope has been used to tie up his hands tightly on the back. The rope is so tight that it cuts both his hands. He feels that his forehead is bleeding. It is due to the stones hurled at him by some callous and cruel fellows. They hurled the stones to show their resentment for the so-called misdeeds done by him during the year. It is ironic that they have completely forgotten his good deeds.
The patriot entered his city amid great rejoicings and honour. Now he was leaving it in great humiliation and insult. He feels that if he had died a year ago – some people actually collapse in excess of joy – God would not have cared for him. But now when he had not been rewarded by the people, he was certain to be rewarded in heaven. He feels safe in the bosom of God. Thus, even in intense defeat he finds something to console himself with.
The Patriot Poem Glossary
myrtle : a sweet smelling flower
like mad : madly, in great enthusiasm
heave : breathe
sway : rise and fall
church-spires : tall pointed structures on the top of church buildings
a year ago : This is what happened only a year back
broke into a mist : church bells were rung to
with bells : welcome the patriot
rocked : shook
repels : something that is not attractive; hateful
yonder : that
what else : what else he desired
Alack : Alas
leaped at the sun : tried to do the impossible
nought : nothing
harvest : reward
a year is run : a year has passed
a palsied few : a few persons afflicted with paralysis
all allow : everyone admits
Shambles’ Gate : the gate leading to the place of execution
better : better view of the execution
scaffold : a platform where the criminal is executed by cutting off his head or hanging him from a rope
foot : near
more than needs : unnecessarily
a rope cuts : the rope is so tight that it cuts both his hands
by the feel : from the feeling
fling : throw
misdeeds : evil actions
Thus I entered : I entered the city as a hero
thus I go : I am leaving as a disgraced prisoner
triumphs : victories
what dost thou owe me : what do you owe to me ?
The Patriot Poem Critical Appreciation
Austrian rule over Italy (1841-49) was quite unpopular. Many Italians tried to free their country, but in vain. The patriot in the poem seems to have been one of those heroic people who tried to do the impossible. Browning has been a witness to the rise and fall of such heroes. The patriot – perhaps Arnold of Bresaia – meets a tragic fate because of the whimsical nature of the common people.
The title of the poem ‘The Patriot’ is very suitable and apt because the focus remains on the plight of the patriot. The patriot reveals in his monologue his glorious day a year ago when he was glorified and hailed as a hero in sharp contrast with today when he has been arrested and led to the gallows for his misdeeds. He is bound by a rope and his forehead is bleeding from the stones that have been hurled at him by the same people who had earlier welcomed him as a hero. The subtitle of the poem – An Old Story – underlines the fact that the situation depicted in the poem has universal implication. The poem is about the rise and fall of leaders in every country.
The whole poem is so described as to coalesce the past with the present vividly. The scene of the past tumultuous welcome of the patriot is contrasted with his present plight. Rope-bound, he is led to the gallows in the rain, with his forehead bleeding from the stones hurled at him by the same people who had earlier hailed him as a hero.
Message of Hope and Faith
Through a simple, poignant tale of the rise and fall of a hero, Browning seems to give the message that one, like the patriot, can turn defeat into victory, despair into faith and sorrow into joy. This is, of course, possible only with purity of heart and unflinching faith in God’s justice. The patriot’s belief is that God would reward him for his good deeds. He had not been rewarded by his people for what he had done for them. But his belief would make him feel safe and secure. This is a typical case of Browning’s optimism, unrealistic in our age of doubt and atheism.
The Patriot Poem Style and Literary Devices
A Dramatic Monologue
‘The Patriot’ is a dramatic monologue in which the main character is talking to himself in a dramatic manner. The outer scene of indifferent people is vividly felt. The dramatic opening arrests our attention at once :
It was roses, roses, all the way,
With myrtle mixed in my path like mad :
The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway,
The church-spires flamed, such flags they had,
A year ago on this very day.
When the patriot is being led to the gallows, we feel how cruelly he is being treated. The presence of those who fling stones at him is felt.
The poem divided into six stanzas incorporates a regular rhyme scheme, that is, ababa. In each stanza, the first line rhymes with the third line and the fifth line, and the second line rhymes with the fourth line. Most of the rhymed words ‘way, sway; bells, cries; bleeds, misdeeds’, etc. are linked with the theme, and help build up the proper setting.
The poet has used various kinds of images.
(i) Visual images :
- the path strewn with roses and myrtle
- the church-spires blazing with flags of victory
- the few paralysed persons sitting at the window
- the patriot being led in the rain, with his forehead bleeding
(ii) Auditory images :
- the ringing of the church bells
- the joyous cries of the crowd
(iii) Tactile image :
- the feeling of blood coming down from the forehead of the patriot
- the feeling of the tight rope cutting his hands
(iv) Kinesthetic image :
- the house-roofs ‘swaying’ with people in excess to have a glimpse of the patriot
- the old walls ‘rocking’ with the crowd and cries
- the act of ‘leaping’ at the sun
The poet uses the mythological allusion of Icarus flying to the sky with the help of wings fixed to his arms with wax in the line :
Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun
To give it my loving friends to keep !
Icarus, as we know, fell into the sea as he rose nearer to the sun and his wax melted. The patriot, like Icarus, was overambitious, and hence had his tragic downfall. Overambition often leads to a sad end.
The poet has used irony to bring about the contrast between the past and the present. It is best used in the last line when the poet says :
‘Tis God shall repay : I am safer so.
It is ironic that when he is dying, he feels safe.