The Laboratory: Ancien Regime is a poem written by Victorian poet Robert Browning. The poem composed as a dramatic monologue, and this is also a metaphysical poem. The poem The laboratory explores psyche of a vengeful woman who is planned to kill his husband or lover’s lover with a poison. She sits in a laboratory of an old chemist who has agreed to make a deadly poison with which she intends t kill her lover’s lover. the poem explores the inner frustration and extreme jealousy of a women who is jilted in love.
Poem The Laboratory starts in a laboratory in which the chemist and the women are busy making a poison. The women wears a mask and closely watches the process of making the poison, in that smoke-filled laboratory. She compares the laboratory with “devil’s-smithy“
the women thinks about her lover and his beloved talking about him and making fun of her. They might think that she is praying to God in a church, but she is not. She is sitting in a laboratory to make poison this conviction make her proud and she is proud about her determination. The mad women helps the chemist in the process and asks questions continuously. She orders him to mask up the paste and pound the powder. Even though she got another important thinks to do like dancing in the kings court. But all those things are now unimportant to her as she is in the process.
The speaker unveils her identity gradually through her dramatic monologue. It’s clear that she is a lower class women living among high class people, and she longs for class up-gradation. she might dreamed of a better life and high class standard of living with her lover. But now she is jilted by her lover making all her dreams in vain.
The women sits on the laboratory and she feels that all those ingredients of poison making are really colorful and she calls them “wild crowd of invisible pleasures”. she wants to buy all of them and stores them in her house. She consider herself as God as she can determine some one’s destiny and she thinks about the power of those poisons to kill people just like the silly things like earrings, casket and fan-mount.
The sixth stanza reveals her lover’s name but it’s not clear whether it’s Pauline or Elise as she uses both names. She introspect the scene of killing Pauline and show she is going to fix the drink and drinks it and how she is going to die. It’s not the first time as this women try to kill her last night she try to kill her with her gaze. But she failed. The mad women wants her boy friend’s lover’s death should be something to remember forever she wants her face burn up and branded so that her boy friend should feel guilty about ditching her once the poison is made she take of mask and get ready to go to the kings dance she asks the chemist not to feel guilty as she would take all the responsibility.
The women spend all her fortune to make this poison. And she does care about her life after the revenge. She is ready to give a kiss to the old chemist as a return of his doings. And she brush off the dusts so that none will not suspect them. She sets out to avenge for her disgrace.