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Use of a dramatic monologue in Browning's "My Last Duchess and in U.A.Fanthorpe's "Not My Best Side".

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Introduction

Use of a dramatic monologue in Browning's "My Last Duchess and in U.A.Fanthorpe's "Not My Best Side" (extract, section 3 only) Chris Pierce 01/10/03 Both "My Last Duchess" and "Not My Best Side" are dramatic monologues. Browning's monologue has much more depth, detail, and is a different style to that of "Not My Best Side." Although a different style they have many of the same attributes. Firstly the characteristics of the main roles, the Duke in 'My Last Duchess', and St. George in 'Not My Best Side' are both very materialistic. The Duke talks about his last Duchess as a trophy and St. George is always talking about the latest equipment he has. They are both also very egotistical, as the monologues are full of "I" and "Me." When I read the text I get the impression that the two characters' ego's almost hide their insecurities. ...read more.

Middle

Examples of this in My Last Duchess are when the Duke says, "My gift of a nine-hundred years-old name," boasting about his families history, and St. George just says, " I have diplomas in Dragon." This is a very good use of alliteration, emphasising the "D's" for a more egocentric feel. The lengths of sentences in My Last Duchess have great irregularity. This brings an excellent texture to the piece. It shows the reader what mood the Duke is in, and also creates a very good atmosphere. Compared to Fanthorpe's poem where much of it is patronising towards the English culture. She also uses many short, aggressive sentences like, "...You're in my way" which shows his impatience and shows he thinks of everyone as lower than himself. Again linking back to the ego. If the characters existed today, they would probably be privately educated. They would definitely be upper-class citizens with a well-paid job in the city, maybe a banker or a stockbroker. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example was when he said that the Duchess was "Too easily impressed..." The Duke got very jealous, he wanted to have her to himself. This shows the Dukes insecurity in having to have everything to himself. This point's back to his materialistic needs. St. George shows that he thinks the woman is simple by the repetition of words like 'don't and you' at the begging of a question. This embraces his thoughts of her being stupid, 'don't' is hard sounding and is seen to bully her, or just showing he is higher than the Duchess is. Both poems My Last Duchess and Not My Best Side make very good use of writing in the form of a dramatic monologue. These two poems are very good to compare. Both set in different styles and time eras. The language in Fanthorpe's is very contemporary, in Browning's the language is much more sophisticated. This brings up the point that on the surface the two are very different, but if you look into the two personalities it is clear that they are in fact very similar. ...read more.

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