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Compare and contrast how the poets have presented their speakers in 'My Last Duchess' and 'Salome'

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Compare and contrast how the poets have presented their speakers in 'My Last Duchess' and 'Salome' 'My Last Duchess' and 'Salome' both speak about the relationship between men and women. However, they are set in two different time periods and were written nearly 150 years apart. 'My Last Duchess' was written during the Italian Renaissance about a wealthy duke whose wife has just died. The Duke is now going to marry and he is showing a picture of his last duchess to the envoy of girl's father that he is going to marry. The poem is like a detective story where we find evidence as we go along. We have to piece all of this evidence together to get a final image of what the duke is really like. In the end we discover that he actually killed the duchess because he could not control her and that the way he achieved this is by placing her in a frame which is very sadistic. The duke talks about this freely and it becomes obvious that the envoy will report this to his master and stop the marriage but the duke does not seem to care. Browning uses this poem to show his feeling of how unfairly men treat women. ...read more.


The information is hinted at used throughout the whole poem. The information is given away to us very slowly and it keeps us interested and trying to work the truth out. 'The all smiles stopped together'. This is the moment we find out he murdered her. The delays in useful information makes the poem more interesting and makes the duke seem as if to him it's not a big deal the he murdered his last duchess which also makes us consider if he has done it before and if he will do it again. Remember the duke is talking about to his next duchess's father's envoy. The duke seems to think it is normal to murder woman. Also the last few lines explain the whole poem and give us a final idea of what the duke has really done. 'Taming a sea-horse'. This tells us that the duke tried to tame his duchess but found the only way to do that was to kill her and put her in a painting. This gives us a final real picture of the murderous, proud, conceited and jealous duke he really is. In 'Salome' the mood is similar to 'My Last Duchess' apart from the fact that 'My Last Duchess' is more formal than the casual way Salome talks about the head on the pillow next to her. ...read more.


Duffy also uses biblical reference to make the poem seem familiar. If anyone knows the story of Salome they will start working out something is wrong when the head on the pillow next to her is mentioned. An interesting biblical reference is 'Simon? Andrew? John?' This is a list of some of the disciples. The tone is like a confession. When she is searching for the name of the person who she killed she lists names of Apostles. This is very interesting because it either thinking of the tens of people she has murdered before or she care so little about the murder she committed she forgot the name. It also adds a feeling of confusion going on in her head as she is waking up. She is also weirdly blas� about the fact that there is a severed head next to her. In conclusion Browning and Duffy both present their characters negatively. The duke in 'My Last Duchess' is presented as a wealthy man who thinks killing not a bad thing and who doesn't care that he is talking about him killing his last duchess to his next duchess's father' envoy. Salome is a biblical figure who is presented as a ruthless killer who murders and seduces men. Both poets are very successful at presenting their speakers in the way that they wanted to prove their point in the world. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page | 1 ...read more.

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