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

Characterisation - My Last Duchess

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Browning's dramatic monologue My Last Duchess creates a detailed characterisation of the Duke. Analyse the way characterisation is used in this poem and compare it to at least one other in the selection. Browning's "My Last Duchess" draws the reader into a masterfully crafted, multi-faceted, dramatic monologue in which the speaker, the Duke speaks directly to the reader, and used to reveal his mannerisms. Characterisation is revealed via Browning's vivid and violent imagery coupled with metaphors and enjambment. "Porphyria's Lover" is another such poem (also by Browning) which utilises a dramatic monologue to depict a disturbing story. However in this gives the reader a dramatic insight into the twisted mind of an abnormally possessive lover, who wishes the moment of love to last forever. At the start of this poem the Duke comes across as a person of intelligence, poise, breeding and manners. If we delve deeper into both the title and the first 4 lines, however, we find our first curious passages: That's my last duchess painted on the wall,Looking as if she were alive. I callThat piece a wonder, now;Fra Pandolfs handsWorked busily a day, and there she stands.(lines 1-4) ...read more.

Middle

More so in "Porphyria's Lover". The lines do not employ end-stops; sentences and other grammatical units do not necessarily conclude at the end of lines. This happens more so in "Porphyria's Lover". The lover describes Porphyria removing her wet hat, "untied/ Her hat and let the damp hair fall". The use of enjambment here gives the image of her long blonde hair falling from beneath her hat. This is effective because it gives the reader the image of her hair moving out of position. Because the Duke is relating the story we may see his morally derelict character through his speech and dialect. In lines 8-21 it is revealed that that the expression and flush on the face of the duchess in the painting was a reflection of "passion" and "joy", primal and earthy emotions to which the well-bred Duke is unaccustomed to expressing openly. The manifestation of these emotions in the painting, however, was not instilled solely by her husband, the Duke, but also by the comments of the artist, Fra Pandolf. In "My Last Duchess" Browning use diminutive language to describe the way the Duke behaves. ...read more.

Conclusion

The speaker in 'Porphyria's Lover' loved Porphyria a lot and spoke fondly of her, Characterisation revealed many of their similar traits. such as obsession, possessiveness and a need for control over people. The Duke was unable to "tame" and control his wife and the lover was unable to possess Porphyria and these common characteristics of the two speaker's lead to the death of their loved ones. The main contrast was the social status of the speakers. The Duke was very wealthy, lived in a mansion and was of high social status, whereas Porphyria's lover was not particularly rich and lived in a small cottage. Some of their personality traits also differed. The Duke was more arrogant and full of pride and I think this was due to his wealth. however the Duke was not always as kind about his wife, and often spoke negatively about her. They also had similar traits such as obsession, possessiveness and a need for control over people. The Duke was unable to "tame" and control his wife and the lover was unable to possess Porphyria and these common characteristics of the two speaker's lead to the death of their loved ones. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparisons 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 GCSE Comparisons essays

  1. Compare the way the theme of love is viewed and conveyed by the author ...

    He, however, thought that telling her that he is feeling bad about something she does would be ''stooping'', and he ''choose Never to stoop''; thus, he decided that the only solution is to get her murdered; we know this as he tells us that he ''gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together.''.

  2. Compare the presentation of relationships in "My Last Duchess", "Porphyria's Lover" and "The Laboratory".

    "Porphyria's Lover" was first published in 1836; the poem talks about a young lady named Porphyria bringing warmth and cheer into the cottage the unnamed speaker is in. She then leaves her hair out and lays her shoulder bare; informing her lover how much she loves him.

  1. Compare and contrast the ways in which relationships are presented in the poems My ...

    that she is very bitter towards her love as she wants him all to herself and not have to share him with others. She wants revenge on the times that she has missed out on without him and also for the times when 'they believe my tears flow'.

  2. am going to look at four poem; Hitcher (Simon Armitage); My Last Duchess (Robert ...

    I think the poet is trying to show that insecurity is a allied with power and also the lack of it. In both poems the speaker is insecure about his status and this leads him to react rashly against his chosen victim.

  1. A comparison of three poems: The laboratory, Porphyrias Lover and A woman to her ...

    The tone of this poem is obsession. "Grind away, moisten and mash up thy paste, Pound at thy powder, I am not in haste!" This just emphasizes that this woman has only one aim which is to seek revenge on her rival by killing her.

  2. Compare and contrast 'Cousin Kate' and 'The Seduction'.

    This is an effective comparison to show how her mourns will be treated by society. Howling in 'dust' reinforces the way she is cut off from society; she is burying her head beneath the dust to emphasise her isolation, she does not need to use her sight or hearing, because no-one will be there.

  1. Pre 1914 Poetry - "My Last Duchess" and "The Laboratory"

    It is apparent that she is excl aiming it proudly because it is on its own line. The ghostly cave-like atmosphere helps to reflect this: "These faint smokes curling whitely" The courtier also uses the metaphor 'devil's-smithy' to describe the eerie setting.

  2. Compare 'My Last Duchess' to the soliloquy in Othello (Act 5 scene 2)

    To the Duke the portrait is not a celebration of her beauty but an object and commodity to show his power. The fact that there is an internal audience gives a further dominant voice for the Duke; he is speaking to a specific person and is engaging that person overall giving him the power without interruption.

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