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

An Analysis of "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning

Extracts from this document...


An Analysis of "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning "My Last Duchess" is written as a dramatic monologue, which is a poem that is read as if on stage, talking to an audience or character in a play. This method of writing has been used because the poem wants to give one perspective, the Duke's, in an effective manner. By using this technique, Browning is also silencing the antagonist, the Duchess, and becoming the protagonist. The rhyming scheme consists of rhyming couplets, which give the poem a sense of order, and make the speaker, the Duke in this case, seem well educated and in control of their emotions and actions. These methods of writing help show the character of the protagonist and the way he viewed the traditions during the Victorian times. There are two different views in which this poem can be interpreted, the Marxist, and the feminist. ...read more.


However, when he says he calls "That piece a wonder, now", he says it as if he didn't appreciate the Duchess until she was dead. The Duke is also purveyed as a very clever, well educated person, as he has the ability to speak very poetically, but he does pretend to be inarticulate at times to let the reader/listener fill in the gaps, for example, She had A heart - how shall I say? - too soon made glad Too easily impressed; The Duke uses parenthesis here to add to the rhetorical flourish and argument he wants to create. He is also very worried about the behaviour of the Duchess because he thinks that it will make him look bad to the rest of the Victorian high society, this is because the women of Victorian times were expected to be an "Angel in the House", and to be the very symbol of virginity and if they were not, they were automatically classed as a whore. ...read more.


The Marxist interpretation of the poem revolves strongly around the abuses and unhealthy attainment of material goods in the Victorian society. The Duke is shown to be a very materialistic person in the way he speaks of the Duchess as if she were an object he had acquired instead of a loving wife. I said `Fr� Pandolph' by design: This shows the Duke's materialism, because he is showing off about having such a good artist paint a picture of his last Duchess. The Duke also takes innocent, worthless things, to us, like his "nine-hundred-years-old name", which she, according to the Duke, took from him like it was anything else she had been given before by a man. Near the end of the poem, the Duke's love of control and materialism is summed up in one passage, in which he thinks himself as a powerful God taming a beautiful, excitable animal: Notice Neptune, though, Taming a seahorse, thought a rarity. ...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 Measure for Measure 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 Measure for Measure essays

  1. Types of Love in Donne's Poetry

    lines the reader can clearly see Donne's passion and love for god, 'dearly' I love you' and this is an important element of the metaphysical poem - displaying deep innermost feelings. The use of 'betrothed' suggests a deeply personal element - he wants to be married to God, the closest earthly connection a human can have.

  2. The poem " My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning is a fascinating poem exposing ...

    Now he is taking the envoy downstairs. This action recognised through the words of the monologue make it a dramatic monologue. That the count is articulate as well as being an evil intelligent can be seen from manipulative way he deals with the Count's envoy. The envoy is a servant but the duke appears to treat him as an equal.

  1. Robert Browning - 'The Last Duchess' - 'Write a letter to the count whether ...

    How could a husband kill a beautiful wife like that, it is awful! The death of the duchess is a cold move by the Duke. His excuse was that he wanted to remove the source of jealousy. He does not show any sympathy or understanding for his late wife.

  2. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock opens Selected Poems. Remind yourself of the ...

    He is therefore emasculated. Traditionally a man should be confident, outgoing and strong-willed. Prufrock lacks all of these qualities. This brings the reader to question whether he will ever be able to change. Overwhelmed by a profound sense of complete desperation he is 'pinned and wriggling on the wall' by the eyes of the women.

  1. 'My Last Duchess'

    Of course this insecurity eventually turns to murder, at which point the Duke shows one of his most deplorable characteristics: 'Will't please you rise?' This simple, polite sentence emphasises the casual manner in which the speaker moves on from the arranged murder of his fianc�e.

  2. My Last Duchess

    "Oh sir, she smiled..." The poet makes use of a sibilant, which is an irritating sound to hear. This emphasizes his anger and frustration. He never refers to her by name, which reflects his disturbed character. After all of the Duke's anger builds up, we learn that he lets out all of his frustration in a very negative and disturbed manner.

  1. Discuss one of Robert Browning's better known poems, "My Last Duchess."

    His excessive pride prevented the Duke from mentioning the Duchess' perceived faults to her ("Who'd stoop to blame / This sort of trifling? Even had you skill / In speech"). The monologue ironically reveals that the falsely modest Duke is, in fact, a skilled speaker, although he feels above directly schooling a wife in the proper social graces.

  2. 'Explore the Nature of Love in The Extasie': John Donne Poetry Analysis

    a lack of the vivacity of the soul, whilst the transcendence of the soul over the body, and the idea that, 'They'are ours, though they'are not wee, Wee are Th'intelligences, they are the spheare', objectifies the bodies as a mere inanimate vessel, subservient to the intellect.

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