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An Analysis of "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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