Comparing My Last Duchess By Robert Browning Essay

Comparing My Last Duchess By Robert Browning Essay

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The purpose of this essay is to analyze and compare and contrast the two paired poems “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning and “My Ex-Husband” by Gabriel Spera to find the similarities presented within the pairs. Despite the monumental time difference between “My Last Duchess” and “My Ex-Husband”, throughout both poems you will see that somebody is wronged by someone they thought was a respectable person and this all comes about by viewing a painting on the wall or picture on a shelf.
The themes within the poems are very parallel. You see the theme of Self-importance or pride and Jealousy contained in both poems. “The Last Duchess” the pride and jealousy stems from the Duke himself due to the Duchesses supposed lack of attention to him. “E’en then would be some stooping, and I choose Never to Stoop.” (Lines 42-43) The Duke was a very self-important man. May it be due to greed or his position in society. In “My Ex-Husband” the jealousy comes from a scorned woman due to her husband inability to stay faithful to her despite his vows. “Was all too well rehearsed, I soon enough Found out” (Lines 22-23) The pride presented within this poem is stemmed from the Unfaithful husband actually. “Impress with his officious self” (Line 26) He seemed to pride himself with his affairs, flaunting them around essentially, displaying for all to view. “He had and attitude—how should I put it—smooth, self-satisfied, too good For the rest of the world.” (Lines 23-25)

The surface tone of both the paired poems originally conveys a sense of irony but, once the reader look past the surface you see one of anger. The Duke is angry towards his now deceased wife for entertaining other men with her sweet smile. He is angry because he made the command to end ...


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...es the wife didn’t give her all of her attention and gave too much to other men. This implies jealously. Spera’s poems idea of being wronged in betrayed seems to lay within the sign of adultery which in the end ended in divorce. “How slobbishly he carried on affairs” (Line 30) The ex-husband committed adultery, this creating jealousy from women and causing the end of their marriage. You see the end of the betrayal with the following lines “So, I made some calls, filed some claims, All the kisses Stopped together.” (Lines 44-45)
There are many similarities presented between these two paired poems. You see this within the setting, tone, speakers view and symbols. Despite being set in very different times they both evoke and produce very comparable emotions and thoughts. Browning’s and Spera’s are beautiful written with a wonderfully well thought out tone and setting.

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