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Analysis of the Setting in My Last Duchess and Dover Beach

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Analysis of the Setting in My Last Duchess and Dover Beach

At first glance the setting of a poem is the psychological and physiological environment in which the story takes place. In some instances, the setting is used to develop the characters. Robert Browning and Matthew Arnold use the setting to expose their character traits. "My Last Duchess" and "Dover Beach," respectively, portray the weaknesses of the characters using elements from the setting. The text, page 629 and 630, tells us that the setting in "My Last Duchess" displays a valuable art form that exposes his greed and cruelty. "Dover Beach" demonstrates changeability and impermanence. The speaker's solution is to establish personal fidelity as a fixture against change, dissolution, and brutality. Even though the text tells us the main use of setting in these two poems, I believe that many individual words used in the poems help describe the surroundings and the feelings that the speaker is trying to get across.

Robert Browning, the author of "My Last Duchess", uses the setting to show the Dukes greed, cruelty, and jealousy. The development of the setting begins with the Duke showing an agent for the Count of Tyrol the curtained picture of his deceased Duchess. Count of Troy sent an agent in order to see if the Duke is worthy to marry his daughter. The fact that he keeps the picture behind closed curtains and deems it a privilege to view the Duke's last Duchess illustrates his possessiveness and greed. "She thanked men--good! But thanked somehow--I know not how--as if she ranked my gift of nine-hundred-years-old name with anybody's gift". This line lends to the setting by showing his greed and how he places himself above other men according to his possess...

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...en the couple. Being confused the couple does not know if they are fighting to keep the relationship going or fighting in order to end the relationship. The setting described in the last three lines using words such as struggle, flight, clash, and darkling plan allows the reader to understand the confusion in the couples life

Where Browning uses the setting to reveal the characters greed and cruelty, Arnold uses the setting in "Dover Beach" to expose the lover's struggle in their relationship. Both poems' settings reveal the weaknesses of their characters and allow the reader to draw a mental picture of the situations faced by the characters in the poems'. The use of setting in a poem emphasizes the author words and character development. Setting not only describes the physical surroundings; it also describes the mental though of the characters in a poem.
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