Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” written in 1842, is an intriguing poem that reveals an unexpected interpretation when closely analyzed. The poem is based upon actual incidents that occurred in the life of Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara. The first wife of Ferrara, Lucrezia, mysteriously died in 1561 with many speculations afterwards that it was supposedly Ferrara who murdered her. The poem takes place in media res of the Duke consulting and arranging his second marriage. A portrait of the former Duchess is pointed out, and the Duke begins to recall her personality and behavior. The genre is a dramatic monologue. Browning uses various techniques and ways to make the reader scrutinize what the speaker is saying in order to discover the true intention and meaning of the poet. The Duke is a manipulative character, in which his dramatic monologue attempts to convince himself that he is not at fault for the murder of his wife.
Predominately the poem is written in rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter. The rhyming couplets form a strict structure with: “the regular use of enjambed lines throughout the poem may suggest an inability to control over either his wife or his own tongue, yet his disruptive caesurae create a rhetorical violence that allows him to reassert his sovereignty and command” (Gardener 170). The Duke attempts to manipulate the envoy into seeing the Duke as the victim. The Duke fails as he comes off trying too hard to be normal, and seems guilty. Nevertheless, he does try to control “his own tongue” to make his side of the story more plausible. The “disruptive caesurae” highlights how the Duke must control what he is saying and manipulate his words. He has the tendency to use the word “I” throughout the...
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...th of his wife. A clear indication that precaution should be taken when encountering the Duke, or else the consequences will be grave.
Adler, Joshua. "Structure and Meaning in Browning's ‘My Last Duchess’" Victorian Poetry. West Virginia University Press 15.3 (1977): 219-27 JSTOR. Web.
Gardner, Kevin J. "Was The Duke Of Ferrara Impotent?" Anq: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews. 23.3 (2010): 166-71. Academic Search Complete. Web.
Jerman, B. R. "Browning's Witless Duke." PMLA. Modern Language Association 72.3 (1957): 488-93. JSTOR. Web.
Monteiro, George. "Browning's ‘My Last Duchess’" Victorian Poetry. West Virginia University Press 1.3 (1963): 234-37. JSTOR. Web.
Pipes, B. N., Jr. "The Portrait of ‘My Last Duchess’" Victorian Studies. Indiana University Press 3.4 (1960): 381-86. JSTOR. Web.
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Have you ever fallen in love? Have you ever developed strong feelings for another? If problems arose between the two of you, were you able to overcome them? Well certain men in Robert Browning’s works couldn’t seem to. . . “overcome” these differences with their women. Browning grew up learning from his father’s huge library. His wife was much more successful at writing than him. Eight years after her death, his career turned around for the last 20 years of his life. During this time, he wrote many short dramatic monologues such as My Last Duchess and Prophyria’s Lover. These two very intriguing and disturbing Monologues, My Last Duchess and Prophyria’s Lover, by Robert Browning, involve two very messed up men whose actions are both alike in their idea of immortalizing their woman, but different in why they chose to commit the act between the two stories, and a conclusion may be drawn from this observation.
My Last Duchess by Robert Browning is story of a duke recanting his story about his late wife. In this poem the author uses diction similar to conversational words as if he was speaking to someone or something, varied syntax, where he questions to engage the reader, and a vain and superficial tone where he places the value of his late wife to some simple bronze.
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 doomed Duchess of Robert Browning’s dramatic monologue, “My Last Duchess” is the embodiment of the incarcerated woman taken to the eternal extreme. The setting for this poem is the Italy of the Middle Ages, a time when women had still less freedom than in the Victorian era. Women were regarded as possessions, a form of imprisonment within itself. As Johnson states the theme of “marriage as bondage” is consistently explored throughout Browning’s early wor...
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.
Ingersol, Earl G. "Lacan, Browning, and the Murderous Voyeur:'Porphyria’s Lover' and 'My Last Duchess.'" Victorian Poetry 28.2 (Summer 1990) : 151—7.
The overarching irony in Browning's "My Last Duchess" is that it really is not about the duchess, but instead about the controlling, jealous, and arrogant nature of the duke. In his monologue describing a painting of his former wife, the duke introduces us to his dark and sinister qualities. By giving us the Duke of Ferrara as an example, Robert Browning subtly condemns the nobility for their poor character.
Robert Browning wrote the two poems, "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover." Both poems convey an thoughtful, examination profound commentary about the concept of love.
In the poem “The Widow at Windsor” Rudyard Kipling uses the voice of one of the men to explain what it means to be one of Queen Victoria’s soldiers. The soldier explains how powerful the Queen is and how she uses her power over others to gain what she wants. He also talks about the soldiers that do her bidding. Any idealistic notions the soldiers may have had at the thought of being soldiers is countered by the reality of their day-to-day lives. Kipling’s own life experiences lends credence to the doublespeak that this poem brings to light. “The Widow at Windsor” uses a rapidly paced cadence to draw the reader into a conflicted world where soldiering for a powerful woman is a source of pride and disrespect and furthermore, the readers sees this duality of mind as demonstrable in any time period, regardless of the date.
Browning’s works were the primary model for the basic form of the standard Victorian dramatic monologue which was based around a speaker, listener, and a reader. Browning’s poem “My Last Duchess” became a model for the dramatic monologue form primarily because of the strict approach he took while developing the poem. One of the aspects characteristic of this work is the authors level of consciousness. Each element in “My Last Duchess” is thoughtfully constructed with form and structure in mind. This poem is filled with dramatic principle that satisfied the Victorian period’s demand for an action and drama that were not overtly apparent in the work. In the case of “My Last Duchess” the drama of the poem is how his character, the Duke, is introduced. In dramatic monologues the character’s self is revealed through thoug...
In "My Last Duchess", by Robert Browning, the character of Duke is portrayed as having controlling, jealous, and arrogant traits. These traits are not all mentioned verbally, but mainly through his actions. In the beginning of the poem the painting of the Dukes wife is introduced to us: "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,/ looking as of she were still alive" (1-2). These lines leave us with the suspicion that the Duchess is no longer alive, but at this point were are not totally sure. In this essay I will discuss the Dukes controlling, jealous and arrogant traits he possesses through out the poem.
‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ are both poems by the Victorian poet Robert Browning. In this essay I will compare these two poems to find similarities and differences.
Throughout "My Last Duchess," Browning uses diction to further increase the haunting effect of his dramatic monologue. His precise and scattered word choice is meant to make the reader recognize the underlying haughtiness in his speech to the Count's emissary. The Duke refers to his former wife's portraits "depth" and "passion" in order to place a cloudiness over the realism of the painting. This, along with the "faint" and "half-flush" appearance that "dies along her throat," brings about an overcast appearance to the poem. The Duke's "trifling" lack of "countenance" is evident in his jealousy of
In conclusion, Mr. Robert Browning depicts in ‘My Last Duchess” that the Duke is not an ideal husband by referencing how controlling he is over women and other people in his vicinity. Mr. Browning also references the Duke’s jealous and petty actions that make him seem desperate for a way to seek attention. That is why the Duke disposes of her since she was not giving him the proper care he wanted he decided that she was not worthy. The Duke is also not an ideal husband based on his views of how disposal women are to him. His jealousy and insecurity lead him to be an unhappy self-centered