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Compare how women are presented in: Anne Hathaway; Sonnet 130; My Last Duchess and Salome.

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Introduction

Compare how women are presented in: Anne Hathaway; Sonnet 130; My Last Duchess and Salome. Robert Browning has written My Last Duchess in the style of a dramatic monologue. This continuous prose allows Browning to create the narrator (presumably the Duke of Ferrara) as a character of unpleasant nature. Conversely this gives the impression of the "last duchess" as being a kind woman because of the contrast between the characters. A heart - how shall I say? - too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er She looked on, The word "heart" immediately makes the reader think of the duchess as a kind person. However, as soon as the narrator says continues with the rest of the sentence it has a negative impact making him sound cruel because he can not just accept his wife is a kind-hearted person. The dramatic monologue adds to the contrast between them because it is when a character delivers a speech explaining his feelingsor actions. The use of this, gives the poem quite a secretive tone and this emphasises the implication that he has killed his wife. Also Browning creates a conversational tone by the use of enjambement which emphasises the reader's perception of the duchess as a kind woman from the nastiness of the Duke spoken in such a normal conversational manner. ...read more.

Middle

added emphasis whilst sex has a blunt ending which gives the implication that it is a possible afterthought and that she ranks it on the same level as these other two crimes of hers. Once more Salome is shown to have more bad characteristics. Whereas the Duchess is only described using words that are positive even if the duke puts a negative spin on the characteristics in his narration. The duke says Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? In contrast to Salome this excerpt from the poem tells the reader that the duchess was a nice person in that she smiled at all people, the fact that the duke has described it in a engative way only puts more emphasis on the duchess' goodness that the cruel duke can not see. The words used are not colloquial and Browning does not use slang but he uses simple words to convey her character's kindness rather than overly sophisticated words. There is much difference in the way the duchess is presented and the way Salome is presented. This Victorian and modern poem can also be compared with a Shakespearean sonnet and another modern Carol Ann Duffy poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

The words "dive for pearls" give a sensual and private effect to the sentence and suggests that they were deeply in love because the description of their lovemaking is not simple but complex and she seems to only be able to describe it in beautiful words like the ones Shakespeare uses in his plays. This is why Duffy has used these words. However though Shakespeare is mocking exaggerated imagery he is essentially using similar language for a similar effect. He too, is trying to create a sense of wonder in the relationship and is using words like "sun" or "coral" because Shakespeare is essentially saying that although his love does not have eyes or lips like this she has as close to perfection in reality as you can get because he loves her for her. In both poems by Carol Ann Duffy the viewpoint is from a woman whilst in the other two it is a man's perspective being shown. This has an effect on how the women are viewed. Humour is present in both Salome and Sonnet 130 whilst My Last Duchess and Anne Hathaway are far more serious. The four women: The Duchess; Salome; Anne Hathaway; and what scholars refer to as the "Dark Lady" in Shakespearean sonnets, all seem to be presented in different lights through the style, language as well as the structure. ...read more.

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