Oedipus the King, My Last Duchess, and Death of a Salesman

1452 Words6 Pages
Perfection is what many people attempt to achieve in there lives, yet none do. It is the ideal result to the hard work and toil each person does, in order to become greater than they are now. Within literature, characters may seem perfect but upon closer inspection, are deeply flawed. This is the case in the three pieces of literature; Oedipus the King, My Last Duchess, and Death of a Salesman. All three of these prove that fact that “Perfection is like a dream. When people finally see the flaws, they wake up and the dream ends.” Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess” is a haunting poem that tells the story of a seemingly perfect wife who dies, and then is immortalized in a picture by her kind and loving husband. This seems to be the perfect family that a tragic accident has destroyed. Upon further investigation and dissection of the poem, we discover the imperfections and this perfect “dream family” is shown for what it really was, a relationship without trust. The deceased wife appeared to be completely perfect and caring. She smiled to everyone she talked to, like a kind woman should (My Last Duchess, lines 43-45). She also seems to be a very happy and joyous woman with no flaws (My Last Duchess, Lines 13-15). She was a beautiful soul who seemed to love everyone, which is why she was not as perfect as she seemed to be to the world. Her imperfection was that she was too nice, to the point of causing her husband to feel jealous of the others she talked to. She always accepted peoples gifts to her with the same graciousness that she had used when her husband asked her to marry him (My Last Duchess, lines 32-35). The perfect wife would have held her marriage above all else, which she apparently did not. She did not seem to value ... ... middle of paper ... ...led under the close inspection given to them. This proves the fact that “Perfection is like a dream. When people finally see the flaws, they wake up and the dream ends.” Works Cited Gioia, Dana, and X.J. Kennedy. "My Last Duchess." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Compact Edition, Interactive Edition. 5th ed. New York: Pearson; Longman Publishing, 2007. 432-433. Print. Gioia, Dana, and X.J. Kennedy. "Death of a Salesman" Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Compact Edition, Interactive Edition. 5th ed. New York: Pearson; Longman Publishing, 2007. 1212-1280. Print. Gioia, Dana, and X.J. Kennedy. "Oedipus the King." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Compact Edition, Interactive Edition. 5th ed. New York: Pearson; Longman Publishing, 2007. 887-924. Print.

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