Compare the Ways Poets Present Relationships in ‘Les Grands Seigneurs’ and in 'My Last Duchess'

932 WordsMay 17, 20134 Pages
Compare the ways poets present relationships in ‘Les Grands Seigneurs’ and in one other poem from Character and Voice In this essay I will be commenting on the presentation of relationships in two poems. The first poem is ‘Les Grands Seigneurs’, in which the speaker remarks on her life before marriage, where she was adored and worshiped by men, and how it has changed after marriage. ‘My Last Duchess’ is a dramatic monologue in which the speaker comments on his late wife and her character, suggesting that she was unfaithful to him and hinting that he may have murdered her because of this. One feature that is common to both poems is the presence of male dominance. ‘Les Grands Seigneurs’ presents the idea of male dominance in the final…show more content…
This is supported by the quotation: “I gave commands; then all smiles stopped together.” in which the Duke is remarking on how he thought that his wife smiled too much, so he ordered her to stop smiling. The simplicity of the sentence and the use of the semi-colon reflects easily the Duke is able to control and command his wife, as if she were one of his possessions, which clearly displays the dominant role of the Duke in the relationship presented. Furthermore, the use of sibilance in the words ‘smiles stopped’ acts to emphasise the threatening aspect of this line by creating a ‘hissing’ sound which accentuates the sinister tone of the poem. ‘Les Grands Seigneurs’ appears at first to have a fairly conventional form; it is set out in four clear stanzas with fairly equal line length. Conversely on the fourth stanza comes a dramatic turn in the tone conveyed, shifting from a romantic and playful tone to dark and ironic, which is emphasised by the shortness of the last stanza. The final stanza contains only three lines as opposed to the four on each previous stanza, which causes the stanza to look out of place, which suggests that perhaps the poet intended for the structure of this poem to reflect the content; the black humour and irony of the final stanza with “I became (yes overnight) a toy, a plaything, little woman, Wife, a bit of fluff” is a stark contrast to the image of romance and courtly love that is portrayed

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