• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast how the poets create the characters and situations in "My last Duchess" and "Ulysses". Which poem is the most successful and why?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast how the poets create the characters and situations in "My last Duchess" and "Ulysses". Which poem is the most successful and why? These two poems, or monologues, were written by Robert Browning (My last Duchess) and Alfred Lord Tennyson (Ulysses), in the 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria. Many other influential writers were also born in this period. During this time, Britain's population doubled from 17.5 million to 37 million. Britain was a very powerful nation with a strong economy, and had a very large empire that covered the globe. This brought on an air of pride and confidence. Creature comforts, such as transport, sanitation and housing were improving during this time. More men had the vote than ever before, although women were still not allowed to vote. All was not well however, begging, drunkenness and child exploitation were extremely common. Many people were hypocrites: they said one thing but did another. This period was also one of political unrest. In My Last Duchess, the Duke has power, importance, prominence, wealth and control over his life. ...read more.

Middle

The Duke has control over the servant through veiled commands; for example, "Will it please you to sit" is actually a command to sit. In Ulysses the silent listener changes throughout the poem. Some examples of the silent listeners in this poem are his kingdom and his fellow mariners. Robert Browning presents the power of the Duke through his attitude to others. At the beginning of the poem he refers to the "hands" of a monk from the early Tuscan Renaissance, "Fra Pandolf". By referring to only his hands, the duke demotes the monk to the only things that are useful to him, to create the painting of his Duchess. The painting is a possession which he can control, unlike the living Duchess, and he keeps a "curtain" drawn in front of it so that no one but he can see the Duchess. The Duke also mentions "Claus of Innsbruck" who cast "Neptune" "taming a sea-horse" for "me". The emphasis on the word "me" shows that the Duke thinks he has power over famous craftsmen and how he can get them to do what he wants and can control them from all over the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ulysses is also a driven person as he talks about "roaming with a hungry heart", showing that it is adventure and discovery that keeps him alive and that he is driven by this. Overall, I think that the poem My Last Duchess was the more successful poem. By successful I mean that it was a more engaging poem and a more satisfying poem to read than Ulysses. My Last Duchess also forms a more successful historical setting and reflects the time period when it was written better than Ulysses. Ulysses, however, has a more interesting plot than My Last Duchess and actually moves, whereas My Last Duchess has a circular plot as the end ties into the beginning of the poem and can, almost, be read without the middle and still make sense. All in all, poetry is not my favorite form of literature, but if I had to pick a poem that I liked best, it would be My Last Duchess due to the fact that it was a more satisfying and engaging poem to read, with many hidden meanings. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Beddow 10C Mrs Blackman Feb. 2006 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Alfred Lord Tennyson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Alfred Lord Tennyson essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    The four in the villa are accustomed to rising at daybreak and eating dinner with the last available light. Late one night, long after Hana has blown out the candle in the English patient's room, she and Kip sneak into the villa from two different doors.

  2. Ambition in "The Duchess of Malfi" and "Paradise Lost"

    of activity and torture, an eternal suffering to act as a constant reminder of the situation caused solely by your own personal ambitions. "Hope never comes that comes to all, but torture without end still urges" shows that hope has been banished, and that Satan feels regret for his choice to seek more than what he had been given already.

  1. Comparing 'Ulysses' by Lord Tennyson and 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning.

    To create the effect of speech, Browning uses Iambic Pentameter, which helps to imitate the rhythm of conversational speech, and enjambment frequently. The use of language to present the subject matter is important for both poets. In Ulysses, the poet builds up a picture of the characters inactiveness by using words such as "still", "dull" and "pause".

  2. Translations and Things Fall Apart, examine how Friel and Achebe present the issue of ...

    Early on in the essay, Thiong'o quotes Achebe as saying: "Is it right that a man should abandon his mother tongue for someone else's? IT looks like a dreadful betrayal and produces a guilty feeling. But for me there is no other choice.

  1. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost and If Sleep and ...

    He stops, and then contemplates how strange his halt must seem to the horse, given that it is cold and dark and there is no farmhouse in sight. The horse shakes his harness bell, an action that the man interprets as the animal asking "if there is some mistake."

  2. Compare and contrast three examples of gothic fiction

    (Shelley 94) If God is the master of nature then Frankenstein seems to aspire to no less a title when he states: It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things, or the inner spirit of nature

  1. English Lit - How Far is Anne Rice Successful in distancing her characters from ...

    This could be argued to be employed as a means of introducing an impartial tone in the text when describing the actions outside of Louis' narrative, helping the reader to place themselves in the shoes of "the boy" in the book; as a mere listener.

  2. "How do the authors portray love in their texts?" Macbeth By William Shakespeare, ...

    The phrase ?impedes thee from the golden round? over here Lady Macbeth refers to the crown as the ?golden round,? to emphasize its importance. Overall this phrase suggests that Lady Macbeth will help Macbeth overcome all the obstacles which are in his way.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work