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The comparison of 'My Last Duchess' and 'The Laboratory'

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The comparison of ?My last Duchess? and ?The Laboratory Both my last duchess and the laboratory are based on women; therefore it is surprising that the writer of both poems was Sir Robert Browning. However when looked at closely there is evidence of the complexity of women which is viewed in a male perspective. After thorough observation it has become clear that in these two poems Browning emphasises the following feelings; Love, Paranoia , Arrogance and Betrayal. The ominous and menacing atmosphere of these two poems reveal these abstract nouns in negative lights and sinister situations; hidden amongst these is the powerful sense of control, whether it?s the need to control a situation or person. In ?My last Duchess? this sense of control is reflected in the Duke and his obsession in power, although him and the Lady in ?The Laboratory? share this desire, the woman in the apothecary seems to have a stronger, more manic need for it than the duke. Throughout both poems it is quite clear that Browning and layered his poems with deep emotions causing the reader to explore different meanings to the story, but the more you layers you uncover the darker the meanings get? While reading these ...read more.


Thus the woman at the apothecary and the duke are not at all un-a-like. The sharing of dark qualities is very clear in the two monologues because after you read both the room feels trapped in a eerie atmosphere. This may be due to the cleverly picked choice of words which give the poems both a feeling of passion and mystical madness. In 'The Laboratory' Browning incorporated very delicate and feminine nouns whereas in the other verses he demonstrated the use of masculine sounds. In the fourth verse of the poem the women is simply awed at the products in the shops, ?That in the mortar -- you call it a gum? Ah, the brave tree whence such gold oozings come! And yonder soft phial, the exquisite blue, Sure to taste sweetly, -- is that poison too?? The soft, feminine sounds let the poem take a lyrical and enchanting twist but when one focus' on the words the whole thing becomes maniacal and macabre. When you listen you can her the adrenaline and crazed tone as she watches with wonder on ponders on the 'beauty' of it all. ...read more.


When using the comma the poet makes sure that the duke sounds composed, but also as if he is trying very hard to keep emotion out of his voice. Surprisingly by using the same technique of punctuation Browning has created to entirely different mind-frames for both narrators. In 'The Laboratory' the women doesn't seem to care about expressing her feelings whereas in 'My Last Duchess' the duke can think of nothing else other than concealing his emotions and thoughts. In conclusion 'My Last Duchess' and 'The Laboratory' are very similar. They both cover the four main emotions (love, paranoia, arrogance and betrayal) which results into the common eerie atmosphere.Their structures are the same but the perspectives of the characters are different ever though they may live the same wealthy lifestyle and last but not least both poems are focused on women. Whether it's to do with deranged wives or abused ones, the poems reflect on the dominance of men in the world and the little things womenkind do to break loose from that firm hold. It may be poisoning lovers or refusing to be 'tamed'. Whatever it may be this is a mans world but surely it is time for a change? Ahveen Afshary U4N ...read more.

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