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Write about the ways Browning tells the story in 'My Last Duchess'

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Introduction

Write about the ways Browning tells the story in ?My Last Duchess.? Robert Browning begins the poem ?My Last Duchess? with a stereotypical Renaissance setting of an art gallery, with the Duke of Ferrara showing off his extensive collection to a messenger. He finally comes to one of his most prized paintings of his ?last Duchess painted on the wall.? The considerable use of personal pronouns in the stanza presenting ?my last Duchess? clearly depicts the Duke?s inexorable possessiveness over his Duchess. ?Since none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you, but I? also indicates the power the Duke still feels he has over his wife by means of the painting, showing the Duke?s obsession of his Duchess as he wishes to look at and control her even after her death, ?but I? simply reinforces this. In the line ?Fra Pandolf?s hands worked busily a day? we understand that the Duke?s possessive nature allowed the artist to view his wife only for a day (which is near impossible) ...read more.

Middle

However when the Duke?s anger over her ignorance to his ?favour? of a ?gift of a nine-hundred-years old name? is evoked it?s obvious that his jealousy makes him perceive the Duchess? impersonal love as infidelity. The contrast between the Duke?s ?favour? and ?the bough of cherries? an ?officious fool? gave her, was ignored by the Duchess as both gifts were regarded ?alike.? This reveals the jealousy and supercilious nature of the Duke; he does not want to be equal with people who are less than him, broadcasting to the reader why the ?half flush?, which ends her life, ?dies along her throat?. The poem is written entirely in iambic pentameter with regular rhyming couplets, which contributes to the rhythm of the poem and shows the reader that the duke is in control. The questions are all rhetorical to exacerbate the power of the Duke as he?s never interrupted through his speech. ...read more.

Conclusion

With this a hatred towards the Duke since it?s clear he values wealth and power above love and morality. The poem is ingraned with imagery which directly reveal the emotion and sinister aspects of the Duke. ?The depth and passion of its earnest glance? highlights a vast amount of emotion that the Duke has towards the Duchess, whilst further showing the Duke?s treatment of his wife as an object since ?its? refers to the painting but ?earnest glance? describes the Duchess, implying she?s a comodity. This is enhanced when he gloats that the painting is ?Fra Pandolf by design?, focusing more on the skill of the painter rather than the beauty of his wife or his love of her. Secondly, when the Duke tells the messenger to ?notice Neptune? ?taming a seahorse?, the Duke is mirrored against another dominant male ?taming? something beautiful, juxtaposing the Duke?s actions against his wife. ...read more.

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