Browning's chosen subject-matter
: "Every man is for him an epitome of the universe, a centre of creation." It is always the particular soul, and the particular act or episode, as the flower of the particular soul--the act or episode by which its quality comes to the test--in which he interests us.
What kind or degree of unity is to be sought after in a building, in the plastic arts, in poetry, in prose, is a problem which has to be determined relatively to the subject-matter
. To Plato himself, the inquiry "what was the intention of the writer," or "what was the principal argument of the Republic" would have been hardly intelligible, and therefore had better be at once dismissed.
Bella felt a little vague trepidation as to the subject-matter
of this same consultation, until Mrs Boffin announced it.
Any attempt to extend the subject-matter of art is extremely distasteful to the public; and yet the vitality and progress of art depend in a large measure on the continual extension of subject-matter.
To call an artist morbid because he deals with morbidity as his subject-matter is as silly as if one called Shakespeare mad because he wrote 'King Lear.'
And it were well if all such could be admonished to discriminate judgments of which the true subject-matter
lies entirely beyond their reach, from those of which the elements may be compassed by a narrow and superficial survey."
The frequent comparative difficulty of Browning's poetry arises in large part first from the subtilety of his thought and second from the obscurity of his subject-matter
and his fondness for out-of-the-way characters.
He had been always enthralled by the methods of natural science, but the ordinary subject-matter
of that science had seemed to him trivial and of no import.
We had now a second conference upon the subject-matter
of the last conference.
And yet the doings of this remarkable criminal form the subject-matter
of the most dramatic narratives of the newspapers and criminal records of the past twenty years.
Defendants who asked the court to dismiss the case against them for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction had no basis to appeal the court's denial without prejudice.