Analysis Of ' My Last Duchess ' By Robert Browning

2479 Words10 Pages
Historically, women have been victimised and oppressed, by men and more subtly by societal constructs such as marriage. For ‘a man attaches himself to woman - not to enjoy her, but to enjoy himself’ , and this concept of a one-sided, selfish relationship is apparent in literary pieces. Within the setting of ‘My Last Duchess’, the Renaissance period, men held all-encompassing and direct control over their daughters and wives. The common practice in this era, of arranged marriage for dowry, consolidated the concept of women as a resource for they represented money and political power towards his family. Robert Browning uses this extreme perception of the Duke to commentate on male pride that was still prevalent in his own Victorian era. In the depression period of ‘Of Mice and Men’, women were demonised and sexualised. They became housewives whilst society decomposed around them, becoming increasingly unstable and violent. John Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife unsympathetically, and yet upon her death he relents that she was a product of her miserable era. In the age of ‘The Ruined Maid’, set during the urbanisation of Victorian Britain, women who turned to prostitution ‘ruined’ their social standings, but could live with a guarantee of economic stability. Yet, the poet Thomas Hardy satirizes his society’s view of prostitutes as ‘ruined’, rather suggesting that they lived among the freest and most refined of lives during his period. Furthermore, set most recently, the poem
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