Pre 1914 poetry analysis

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 Coursework No.2-Comparative essay-Poetry

 GCSE English Yr 10

Examine the means by which character is revealed in Browning’s “My Last Duchess” and at least one other poem from the pre-1914 section.

        In Browning’s “My Last Duchess”, the speaker is portrayed as a proud yet sly type of man as well

 as quite egoistic and cold hearted; whereas in “Porphyria’s Lover” the reader is not directly told what the

speaker’s personality is like, it seems to be inferred- which may include the speaker to be a quite a dark

lonely man, who likes his things to only his, and no one else’s. The reader can examine the use of similar

methods in both poems-which may be because the poems are written by the same poet, or if there are

any, the different methods used in the two poems, and why Browning has chosen to use different


        The reader can instantly get and idea of what the speaker of the poem’s character is from what

he/she is actually talking about in the poem (subject matter), and what is being said about the subject

(theme). In Browning’s “My Last Duchess” the reader immediately gets the idea that the subject of the

poem is the last Duchess of the speaker. The Duke was quite demanding of the Duchess and “gave

commands; then all the smiles stopped together. There she stands as if alive”. This gives the reader the

impression that the Duke didn’t appreciate the fact that his Duchess did not enjoy getting commands, and

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due to her reaction towards the commands, he got the Duchess killed. From the Dukes actions taken

towards the Duchess the reader can tell the Duke feels quite bitter towards his last Duchess for what she

has or has not done. And by looking at who the quotation was said to, (maybe a messenger from the

father of the Dukes next Duchess), the reader sees that the Duke is being clever and giving the

messenger a hint that his future Duchess shouldn’t mess the Duke around. Similarly in “Porphyria’s


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