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"My Last Duchess" By Robert Browning

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Introduction

"My Last Duchess" By Robert Browning "My Last Duchess" is another dramatic monologue revealing the narrator's possessive behaviour towards his wife. Robert Browning has written "My Last Duchess" in similar ways to "Porphyria's Lover". Both poems have similar ideas and depict of possessive male figures. The audience for "Porphyria's Lover" is the reader yet in "My Last Duchess" there is a direct audience which is the count's servant and an indirect audience which is the reader. In the poem Browning creates a male character who is the Duke of Ferrara. The Duke is a mysterious character who appears to of thought a lot about his Duchess, "That's my last Duchess on the war". This potrays his character's image as being a kind, gentle and caring person. The Duke obviously admires his portrait of the Duchess, "I call that piece a wonder". "Looking as if she were alive", this quote compliments the Duke for his artistic master piece yet has a more sincere meaning when you read on in the poem. ...read more.

Middle

She thanked men, good!". This shows how the Duke is a jealous man and was jealous of the attention that the Duchess gave to other people and other priceless objects such as "the dropping in the West". Due to the Duke's jealousy and possessive behaviour, the reader pity's the Duchess as it must be awful for her to live with such a difficult man. The Duke later reveals his arrogance as well as revealing the fact that he is a stubborn, jealous and ignorant husband. "Somehow-I know not how-as if she ranked my gift of a nine year old name, with anybody's gift.". He also shows his lack of respect for his wife when critising her again, " Just this or that in you disgusts me". This shows the Duke potraying his "bad husband" image. The Duke explains to the count's servant how he tried to tell his Duchess to change her disappointing ways, yet he felt to do so was beneath him. " Who'd stoop to blame this sort of trifling?............. ...read more.

Conclusion

The readers become aware of his current situation and how his current relationship is in parallel with his and the Duchess' relationship. The reader begins to feel pity for his new wife as she too will have to experience his jealousy. ignorance, restricting and critical attitude and his arrogance as well as his possessive behaviour. We can see how similar the Duke is to Porphyria 's lover. Both characters are possessive and in control of their female partners. The two characters are also potrayed as slightly psychotic due to them murdering their partners. They both explain in their poems that they feel they have done the right thing by killing their partners, they seem to both excuse themselves from the terrible act of murder. The dramatic monologue in both poems provides us with an entertaining and unusual structure for a poem. Both poems are almost written as short stories due to the narration in each of them. As for the monologue being extremely dramatic both poems are seen as unusual. Due to the weird deaths and psychotic lovers in each poem we can be entertained by both of them. By Chloe Maslin ...read more.

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