The dramatic monologue—in which a single character (not the poet) speaks his or her mind to a silent audience-- is one of the most innovative and influential poetic forms of modern times. Exploding on the scene in Victorian Britain, the dramatic monologue developed in conjunction with psychology in science, and with psychological realism in the novel. This course will focus on a range of Victorian dramatic monologues (by Tennyson, the Brownings, the Rossettis, and Augusta Webster, among others). Alongside the poetry, we will sample literary criticism on particular poems and on the genre of dramatic monologue. The goal will be to think about how we assess other minds from a brief and compressed sample of relevant speech.