Imagine a single spotlight focus solely on you as you say exactly what you feel. Everybody wants to get their point of view heard. One of the most effective ways for an individual to solely get their point across is a dramatic monologue. A dramatic monologue is a type of poetry written in the form of a speech of an individual character. Dramatic monologue can also be known as a persona poem. Robert Browning was known for his dramatic monologues. “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover” are two well-known poems by him. From these two poems I am going to compare the theme, use of imagery, and tone.
The theme of “My Last Duchess” is power, it is based on the Duke’s political and social power applied by the speaker. In this poem the Duke attempts to control his marriage the same way he rules his land. “(since none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you, but I)” (My Last Duchess” this line from the poem shows he feels that he alone controls the access to his late wife’s portrait. In the Duke’s eyes everything and everyone he comes in contact with is an opportunity to expand his power base. His mindset is wives need to be led, his servants must respect his leadership, and everything in his art gallery shows what he has influence of the word. “E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose Never to stoop” (My Last Duchess” in this line he showing that maintaining his pride is more important than dropping hints that if she doesn’t tone the happiness down he will have her killed. He is the kind of leader who fears that showing happiness is a sign of weakness and that opens the door for extortions to his totalitarian power
The theme of “Porphyria’s Lover” is also power. The love shared between the speaker and Porphy...
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...t he didn’t kill her out of anger and he really did love. His thought was just best that now she doesn’t have any other choice but to lay right there by him.
Robert Browning did an excellent job at providing two perfect examples of a dramatic monologue. In “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover” both deal with the love of a woman. The theme for both is power and how the speaker in both want to be in control over the woman. The imagery in “My Last Duchess” is based off what the Duke’s feel and what he shares with the servant. The imagery in “Porphyria’s Lover” is based on Porphyria’s. The tone in “My Last Duchess” is arrogant and ignorant because the Duke think so much of himself and foolishly shares all his flaws. The tone in Porphyria’s Lover” is rational the speaker makes sense of the murder of a woman he loves so much. Both poems displayed dramatic monologues.
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