What irony is involved in the patriot’s words “I am safer so” in Robert Browning’s poem ‘The Patriot’?
The patriot, in Browning’s poem, says that as he has not got recognition for what all he has done in this world and as people have misunderstood his deeds and punished him, God will repay him in the heaven after his death. So, he feels safer now to surely go to heaven and win God’s grace there.
The irony involved here is a dramatic irony, I feel. This is because the other people present there don’t know his feelings and thoughts at the moment. Though the patriot thinks himself lucky and safer for the treatment he receives, the masses gathered there definitely don’t think his way.
According to me, the irony is the fact that the patriot is about to meet his death which is commonly considered as a danger or a threat. However, he feels that he is going to feel safer after his death which would mean that he is facing a situation in which he is going to die but he still feels it to be safe. Thus by saying the words “I am safer so“, he is implying that he will feel safer after being hung.
This is only an answer according to my understanding.