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My Last Duchess is about the Duke of Ferrara discussing with an envoy of the Count about his last wife who is now deceased.

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Introduction

A dramatic monologue is a poem where one person is speaking or thinking. It creates a sense of drama like in a play. There is an art to writing a dramatic monologue. You have to create a character that reveals themselves by what they say and think. My Last Duchess is about the Duke of Ferrara discussing with an envoy of the Count about his last wife who is now deceased. He tells the envoy about his last marriage and how the Duchess' depth and passion is shown in the portrait of her was not only brought on by him. She was "Too easily impressed..." by others and showed them the side of her she showed the Duke which in a way equalled the Duke with others. His jealousy and arrogance would rather have seen her dead than to carry on being his wife and her not fully appreciating his name. The Duke is a very powerful man. This is shown as he has a great position, not everyone is a Duke with a 900 year old heritage that is highly respected enough to have someone killed, "... ...read more.

Middle

...would draw from her alike an approving speech" The poem is written in the style of a single stanza with rhyming couplets. It uses enjambment and mid line ceasures, which disguises the rhyme and makes it seem like a conversation. The images of the Duke are ones of a power and control. He always gives cold instructions, "Will't please you sit and look at her..." He orders and controls fully his world. The Duchess' images are ones of freedom, nature and beauty. "the depth and passion of that earnest glance" By comparison, the Duke loves only art and things made by man and items that can be possessed by him. Porphyria is a wealthy woman who, even though it's heavily raining, will go to be beside her lover. He is not sure about her feelings towards him. It's as though he can't quite believe that someone like her would love a poor person like him. When she is at the cottage, even though a storm is raging outside, she brings warmth and cheerfulness to his life. ...read more.

Conclusion

When she bares her shoulder, she is trying to entice him into a show of love. "She put my arm about her waist, And made her smooth white shoulder bare" Like My Last Duchess, the poem is a dramatic monologue and set in a single stanza format. It also uses enjambment and mid line ceasure to establish the sense of someone's thoughts. However, the rhyme scheme is very complex and id based on a set of 5 lines with an A B A B B pattern "...night, ...awake, ...spite, ...lake: ...break." This makes the rhyme scheme unobvious when reading the poem, but it creates a subtle pattern in the lines. In My Last Duchess, the Duke is talking to an envoy whereas the man in Porphyria's Lover is thinking. This makes it an internal monologue. I enjoyed Porphyria's Lover the most as it has more passion and warmth in it. My Last Duchess is a very cold poem with the Duke able to shrug people off and be so clinical. Porphyria's Lover also seems to flow line after line easier than My Last Duchess and I believe it is the better poem. DANIEL OGDEN ...read more.

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