Matthew Beddow 10C Mrs Blackman Feb. 2006
Compare and contrast how the poets create the characters and situations in “My last Duchess” and “Ulysses”. Which poem is the most successful and why?
These two poems, or monologues, were written by Robert Browning (My last Duchess) and Alfred Lord Tennyson (Ulysses), in the 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria. Many other influential writers were also born in this period. During this time, Britain’s population doubled from 17.5 million to 37 million. Britain was a very powerful nation with a strong economy, and had a very large empire that covered the globe. This brought on an air of pride and confidence. Creature comforts, such as transport, sanitation and housing were improving during this time. More men had the vote than ever before, although women were still not allowed to vote. All was not well however, begging, drunkenness and child exploitation were extremely common. Many people were hypocrites: they said one thing but did another. This period was also one of political unrest.