The Last Ride Together Summary Analysis Questions Answers

The Last Ride Together Summary Theme Analysis Questions Answers 

The Last Ride Together Summary Questions Answers

The Last Ride Together Summary

Stanza 1:
A fond, young lover is plainly told by his beloved girl that she cannot return his love. He takes the dismissal with a spirit of calm resignation. He gives up hope but keeps the memory of his love to himself. He asks her for one last ride with him side by side.

Stanza 2:
The lady looks at him for a second or two with a look in which pride and pity seem to contend; the lover's life seems to hang in the balance till her decision. The prayer is granted, and the lover is elated with a sort of heavenly joy to think he will have the pleasure of a last ride with his beloved. His heart leaps up with joy of another ride with her. In wild enthusiasm, the lover indulges in the fancy that night may be the end of the world. 

Stanza 3:
Before the ride begins, the girl comes nearer and nearer the lover and leans upon him for a moment, like a western cloud radiant with the light of the sun, the moon and the evening star all at once. Such a touch makes the lover's passion so etherealized as to spiritualise him.

Stanza 4:
Then they begin the ride. The soul of the lover steeped in the joy of the ride, rises above the cares and thoughts of rejection. He forgets the past in the joy of the moment, and dismisses all the thoughts of what might have happened if he did and said this and that. If he said or did otherwise, she might have loved him; but there was a chance that she might have hated him as well. The pleasure of the ride might not have been granted by her.

Stanza 5:
With a sense of resignation, the rejected lover consoles himself by a vision of world-wide failures. He is not the only man who has failed in his object of life. His mind rapidly surveys the world and concludes that here all are striving but none succeeds. Men set their ambition high; but what they can achieve is little in comparison with what remains unachieved. He, too, had hoped to win her for himself but ends by having a ride only.

Stanza 6:
The disappointed lover takes the cases of statesmen, and soldiers; for all their efforts, a single line of historical record or a name scratched on a tombstone is all that they achieve in the end. Hands cannot execute what the brain conceives. Action never comes up to planning. 

Stanza 7:
The efforts of a poet have no greater reward for the poet himself than those of others in other spheres of life. He can express in rhythmic language what others feel only. He loves the beautiful and expresses his ideas of beauty in rhyming lines. Though he does much, he never realises in his real life the ideal which he holds so dear. In actual life, he is as ill offer as anybody else.

Stanza 8:
The sculptor and the musician face no better than the poet. The master sculptor gives the best part of his life to the practices of his art; but men turn away their eyes from the marble Venus of the artist to look at a living girl. The skilled musician, who knows no joy of his life but the notes of music, is denied praise with the change of fashion. 

Stanza 9:
Then the disappointed, self-consoling lover builds up his striving on earth and attain only partial success in what we think to be our ideal. Even if the ideal were fully attained in our lives, we must set-up some greater ideal to achieve in after-life. If there were nothing left to hope for in heaven, heaven itself would lose its charm and meaning. It is better, therefore, that the rejected lover keeps the realisation of his love for his heavenly life. 

Stanza 10:
Then the peace that is in him absorbs the consciousness of reality. He fancies himself riding with the beloved till the end of time. His spiritual exultation is very great. This moment of supreme bliss will be eternalised. He prays to God to make his ride perpetual and unending. 

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Summary and Analysis of The Last Ride Together:

Central Theme of The Last Ride Together

◇ View of Life:
"The Last Ride Together" depicts philosophical attitude of Robert Browning. According to Browning, the evils of life - failures, frustrations, disappointments etc. are necessary for the perfection and purification of man. Failures strengthen the mind of man and thereby help in spiritual development. The rejected lover in "The Last Ride Together" acts as the mouthpiece of Browning. He has failed to win his lady-love, but he does not mind his failure. He takes his failure as if it is something better than success. He finds that he is not alone to fail In life as Browning writes - "why, all men strive and who succeeds?". The rejected lover shakes off the temporary depression caused by his failure and gets up to strive again. The rejected lover finds that the achievements of man can never be paralleled to his aspirations because of the limitations of his material body stand in the way of translating all his thoughts into action.

◇ Consolation:
"The Last Ride Together" is a poem of consolation. Throughout the poem, the rejected lover consoles himself for his failure in love. The lover takes the rejection by the lady as a decree of fate. He does not whine and whimper. He does not even curse the girl. He only begs for a last ride with her side by side to eternalise the moment. He consoles himself with the thought that failure is the universal fate of man on earth. Men try hard to translate their thoughts into action and get success but achievements ever fall short of aspirations. The rejected lover also consoles himself with the thought that man has got to live some kind of life in heaven. If a man attains all he desires here onn earth he will have nothing to look forward to in heaven in the shape of happiness. Hence the rejected lover considers his failure a blessing in disguise. 

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Style of the poem The Last Ride Together:

"The Last Ride Together", though a representative poem of Browning, is free from the obscurity that mars Browning's poetry. The style of the poem is simple but vigorous, and the swing of the metre fits in with thought and emotion. The very motion of the ride is captured in rhythmic beat of the verse. Every line of the poem pulsates with passion or meditation and the dramatic intensity. The poem is written in eleven-lined stanza with the unusual rhyme-scheme: a a bb c dd e e e c.

Questions Answers from The Last Ride Together

1. What is Browning's attitude to life as revealed in the poem "The Last Ride Together"? 

Ans: The poem, "The Last Ride Together" is the psychological revelation of Browning's attitude to life through his artistic presentation of dramatic monologue. Here Browning shows the negative aspects of life like - failures, frustrations, disappointments are part of human life and are necessary for the perfection and purification of man. According to human failures strengthen the mind of man thereby help in spiritual development. Hence, man has no reason to mourn his failures. Browning believes that the whole worth of life lies not in perfection but in the efforts to become perfect, not in the accomplishment but in the efforts to accomplish. 

2. What is the dramatic monologue in The Last Ride Together? 

Ans: The dramatic monologue is Browning's most innovative in form. The ideal aim of a dramatic monologue may be defined as the faithful self-portrayal, without ulterior purpose, of the personality of the supposed speaker. Like a typical dramatic monologue, the poem "The Last Ride Together" is predominantly argumentative, analytical, meditative and psychological. Here an imaginary speaker utters a single comprehension speech, at a critical moment in his life, in the presence of his beloved, supposed as a listener. The speaker, rejected by his beloved, proceeds to divulge his thoughts, feelings, his analytic fancy and his robust optimism- glory and failure. 

3. How did the rejected lover console himself in the poem "The Last Ride Together"? 

Ans: The rejected lover consoles himself by a vision of world-wide failures. He boldly asserts that his failure is better than the so-called success of statesmen, soldiers, poets, sculptors and musicians. An eminently successful statesmen acts no more than a few lines in book of history. This is the petty recognition he gets from the world. A flag is hoisted over the memorial of a dead soldier who sacrifices his life for his country and the countrymen inscribe his name over his tombstone and in course of time, his name may be forgotten. A great poet deeply absorbed in thoughts, fails to achieve his ideals. A sculptor makes the beautiful statue of Venus but the people instinctively gaze at a living girl. The rejected lover thinks that riding with the ladylove though for the last time is a better reward than these so-called persons. 

4. What is the philosophy of love in The Last Ride Together? 

Ans: According to Robert Browning, love is a spiritual bliss - the valuable treasure of the soul. The lover is found rapturous because his beloved lingered on his breast. This love in his heart help him transcend the finite and reach out to the infinite. The rejected lover miserably fails in love and with calm and stoic resignation he accepts gladly his lot. Out of his failure, the true lover cultivates the lesson of fortitude and calm resignation rather than of bitterness or despair. The rapture of a rejected lover is the one more last ride, which he regards as the all suffering glory of love in itself. The poem, "The Last Ride Together" presents a love which has an optimistic breath. According to Browning ideal love is a great source of consolation. Ideals are not attainable in this life of incompletion. 

5. What is Browning's views on success and failure as revealed in the poem "The Last Ride Together"? 

Ans: According to Browning, men achieve very little in contrast with what remains unachieved. It is the law on the earth that men's efforts to accomplish something end in smoke i. e. result in failure. Here the lover pondered over the unsuccess of worldly efforts and achievements. Though he was rejected by his lady-love, he did not bear any grudge against her. He accepted his failure in love with calm resignation. To Browning, men achieve very little while they expect much. There is an unfathomable gulf of difference between man's expectations and his achievements. 

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