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

My Last Duchess. The Last Duchess is a dramatic monologue written by Robert Browning in an Iambic pentameter.

Extracts from this document...


The Last Duchess The Last Duchess is a dramatic monologue written by Robert Browning in an Iambic pentameter. The poem is based during the Renaissance years, in Italy, and revolves around the Duke of Ferrara, and his cruel disposition towards his late, adolescent wife, the Duchess. The poem dwells along the lines of an intense framework of dark emotions and sentiments, and through this, Browning has been successful in establishing a historical context, shadowed by themes of overwhelming cruelty, deception, and domination. The poet, using a story line as support, has carefully created the image of a stereotypical Renaissance man and the status of women in the era. Not only that, but in an attempt to bring out these several aspects, Browning has channelled his intentions through the extensive use of literary devices such as enjambments, metaphors, synecdoche etc. This brings out an artistic touch to the poem, perhaps illustrating its connection the Renaissance era. This essay is going to explore various aspects to this poem, and will critically analyze its relevance to the time context. The poem starts off with a stereotypical Renaissance setting, of an art gallery, with the Duke showing off his extensive collection to a messenger. He finally comes to one of his most prized collection: a painting of his late duchess. ...read more.


Carrying on from the themes, we begin to see that Browning has also paid extreme attention to the structural component of the poem. He has written the poem in an Iambic Pentameter, indicating that there are exactly ten syllables on each line. This definitive nature, in a way gives the poem a sort of rhythm and tempo. It keeps the reader gripped. Browning follows this up with the use the rhyme scheme AA, BB, CC... The poem is structured in three different time contexts: the present, the past, and the future, which gives the poem a sense of purpose: it helps depict the Duke's character in closer detail, for it communicates what the Duke feels during each period. The structure of the poem also helps establish the time context. For example, the setting of the poem is in an art gallery, and through this we are able to see that the poem was set during the renaissance era, where art was appreciated immensely. The tone and mood of the poem is, in a way, ominous, and dark. The poet successfully establishes a sense of cruelty, through lines like "I gave commands, and all smiles stopped". This line brings out the inevitability, and the menacingly cold nature of the Duke's character. ...read more.


This creates a sense of eeriness and at the same time establishes the Duke's bloated aristocracy. Another essential device used by browning is enjambments- they add a bit of suspense to the poem and ensure that the reader is captivated by the poem. This can be seen in the line "Fr Pandolf's hands worked busily a day" (Line 3-4, Robert Browning). The enjambment in this line helps add to the tone and mood of the poem by fabricating a sense of graveness, and darkness. On the whole the poem, to me, seems to be a manifestation of several different aspects of history, ranging from the role of men in the renaissance era, and the oppression women went through during the time. Not only that, but Browning incorporates several other aspects as well, such as Renaissance art and beauty. The poem is enriched in literary devices and techniques which enhance the poem's effect as a dramatic monologue. Browning has dug deep into the psyche of one particular man, and through the Duke's own words Browning has been able to provide a critical analysis of his character. This is absolutely magnificent, for he has been able to capture the exact tone and mood required, using the exact diction to portray his stand of the era. 2149 words ?? ?? ?? ?? English A1 Sl Arjun Puri World Literature 04305 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Critical Analysis of After Apple Picking by Robert Frost

    5 star(s)

    The poet then combines the kinesthetic imagery with an olfactory note as he alludes to the "scent of apples".

  2. Casualty is an elegy written by Irish poet and writer Seamus Heaney. It is ...

    The community is united in their grief: 'The common funeral / Unrolled its swaddling band, / Lapping, tightening / Till we were braced and bound / Like brothers in a ring'. The adjective 'common', and the likening of the Catholic community in Derry to a 'swaddling band'-a small blanket which

  1. Mending Wall by Robert Frost. Given the use of enjambment and blank verse in ...

    the necessity of the wall as it protects our vulnerable aspects from external forces. At this point, the speaker seems to be challenging the implications in his earlier statement, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall", and his opposition towards the existence of the wall, showing presence of progressive thought in the speaker's mind.

  2. The Repetition of Three. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, number symbolism ...

    As the Green Knight swung his ax with all his strength, for the first time, Gawain "glanced up aside /As down it [the ax] descended with death-dealing force...his shoulder shrank" (2265-67). Gawain's fear of dying made him flinch as the ax was coming down.

  1. Analysis of Robert Browning's Porphyria's Lover

    She is active whereas he is passive, vice versa. Regarding imagery, colours are used as adjectives to exemplify the character's mood. This visual imagery is mostly used to describe Porphyria, instead of the speaker. Though the speaker's solemn mood is supported just by the adjective, "pale," Porphyria's description is portrayed in bright, vivid colours, signifying her positive, pleasant, affectionate mood.

  2. Themes and style in "The Road", written by Cormac McCarthy.

    The Road) 1. When the boy had bad dreams, the man encourages him, saying that his bad dreams mean he hasn't given up. That good dreams are just a call from death. 1. ?And the dreams so rich in color. How else would death call you?? (Page 6. The Road)

  1. To what extent does Guy de Maupassant show sympathy for Madame Loisel in 'The ...

    she was?her mind a blank.? Though losing Madame Forestier?s necklace was her fault and not a twist of Fate, she does not even feel remorseful for the loss of the necklace and she gives no thought to her husband who is finding her necklace in the middle of the night.

  2. Moods, colors and people of the deep blue sea are portrayed in The Sound ...

    ?Who is the god so hostile to you, and how will you go home on the fish-cold sea.?(l.453,b.IV) 57. ??And slept at last beside the lapping water. When Dawn spread out her finger tips of rose I started,by the sea?s wide level ways.?(l.460, b.IV)

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