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

Compare the following poems: 'The Laboratory' and 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning and 'Hitcher' by Simon Armitage.

Extracts from this document...


Compare the following poems: 'The Laboratory' and 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning and 'Hitcher' by Simon Armitage. In this essay I am going to compare three poems, 'The Laboratory' and 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning and 'Hitcher' by Simon Armitage. 'The Laboratory' is a dramatic monologue about a woman who has discovered her husband is having an affair with two other women. She is plotting to poison both of the mistresses who she blames for attracting and trapping her husband. The poem is set in an apothecary and the woman is watching the potion that will kill being made. 'My Last Duchess' is also a dramatic monologue in which the Duke of Ferrara is telling one of the count's servants about a portrait of his last wife. He has had her killed because he did not think she behaved in the correct manor as a Duchess or as his wife. All three 'Hitcher' is a ballad that tells the story of a disturbed man who picks up a hitchhiker, then proceeds to brutally and sadistically murder him. In 'The Laboratory' murder is being planned, in 'Hitcher' murder takes place in the poem and in 'My Last Duchess' murder has taken place and is being talked about. The three murders referred to are all different. ...read more.


After he opens the door and lets the hitchhiker out of the car, the narrator says, "I saw him in the mirror bouncing off the kerb", that is a bitter thing to say and shows the man's state of mind is not right at all. In stanza five there is a very sadistic phrase, "stitch that", it is as if the narrator is mocking the man he has just murdered. 'My Last Duchess' is the least violent and sadistic out of the three poems, this is because the reader is not told how the Duchess dies, it could have been a violent and gruesome death, but it could also have been quick and painless. The narrator speaks calmly but he still seems to have an unbalanced state of mind. The Duke seems almost over possessive, as he appeared concerned whatever his Duchess did or said to anyone, he said she was too easily impressed. He talks as if the real woman was his object as is his statue of Neptune. He thinks she should have been a lot more grateful at the privilege of being his wife, "she ranked my gift", "with anybody's gift", and eventually she goes too far. "Or there exceed the mark", though he never told her about his suspicions and concerns, it's as if he didn't want to stoop so low as to confront her. ...read more.


The tone in this poem is also very matter-of-fact and no emotion is shown on the narrator's behalf. 'The Laboratory also uses rhyming couplets throughout, onomatopoeias, "pound at thy powder" and hyperboles, "the exquisite blue". The diction in this poem suggests excitement, corruption, envy, betrayal, suspicion, anger and revenge. The tone in this poem is My favourite of the three poems was 'Hitcher' by Simon Armitage because I thought the story portrayed was more interesting and the comparisons within the poem were very affective, for example the calm, lyrical tone in stanza two then the violence in stanza four. I didn't find 'My Last Duchess' very appealing because I didn't find the theme and ideas in the poem very exciting. In 'The Laboratory' I liked the idea of the woman being in the apothecary watching the poison being made, as she was able to use it as an excuse to vary the subject topic. E.g. she spoke in stanza one about the poison, "the poison to poison her", then, in stanza two about why she was there, "he is with her". From my study of the three poems and this essay I have discovered that although all three poems have different ideas, motives and are narrated by different people, they also have many similarities. They all have the theme of murder and all the narrators are sadists, jealousy, revenge and the unbalanced minds of the narrator's feature in all three poems. Imogen Offer 10T October 10th 2003 ...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 Robert Browning 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 Robert Browning essays

  1. How does Browning present the idea of love in 'The Laboratory' and 'My Last ...

    We discover a great deal about the dukes character and his wife because the use of dramatic monologue allows the voice of the narrator to be separated from that of the poet. By using dramatic monologue, we get the impression of the Dukes status.

  2. Compare four poems where strong dislike for another person is shown. Write about "The ...

    a worse light than the person that they are trying to make look bad. This is because they are complaining so much and they are being spiteful towards the other person. In all the poems the effect that the dislike has had on the individual was slightly different.

  1. How does Robert Browning use the dramatic monologue to portray madness in his poems

    Once she is dead he feels guilty and tries to convince himself hat at least she didn't feel any pain. "I warily oped her lids: again Laughed the blue eyes without a stain." The point in this poem where we realise the speaker is mad is when he tells us

  2. How does Browning in Porphyria's lover and Laboratory convey the workings of a diseased ...

    thinking as it is the murder weapon in a way as he loved her hair. Browning clearly shows in "the laboratory" the murderer is surprised by the small quantity of poison "what a drop! She's not little" which conveys that her intended victim is not small and dainty like herself.

  1. Havisham and Laboratory Coursework

    Not a day since then I haven't wished him dead". Throughout the poem it goes through her mental state of mind, from the words Duffy uses you can see she has had a bit of an emotional rollercoaster: "Some nights better, the lost body over me".

  2. the madness and wickedness in each poem. This essay will include three of Robert ...

    She warms up her lover and makes him feel special and whole. 'Made the cheerless grate blaze up and all the cottage warm up'. She loves and respects her lover she shows this when she kneels down to speak to him when she enters the cottage.

  1. Critical appreciation of Robert Browning poems.

    none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you, but I" The duke goes on to tell the representative a list of his complaints about his former duchess. He believed that his wife "had a heart- how shall I say?

  2. the laboratory, hitcher and education for leisure presents the theme of crime

    The colours to grim!' This suggests that the speaker is disappointed that the poison isn't beautiful, as she/he seems very excited about the prospect of murder, and therefore everything to do with it should be 'exquisite'. The speakers in both "Ed for Leisure" and "lab" have a potentially mentally deranged side of their character.

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