Comparing Ulysses by Lord Tennyson and My Last Duchess by Robert

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Comparing Ulysses by Lord Tennyson and My Last Duchess by Robert

“Ulysses” was written by Lord Tennyson and is a poem about a mythical
Greek character and is a dramatic monologue. Another poem that is a dramatic monologue is “My Last Duchess”, by Robert Browning. Both poems are similar, for example they are both structured similarly, and are both different, one difference being their subject. In this essay
I will compare the two poems, focusing on form, and how language helps to build up subject matter.

Ulysses is a Greek mythical character, and was famous for being a pirate, ransacking villages and being a warrior. In Greek literature,
Ulysses just seemed to disappear after he got home, and Tennyson decided to
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These adjectives create an understanding of what life is like for Ulysses, and this is then contrasted with words of his past such as “roaming”,
“ringing” and “windy”. These words create a contrast between the activeness of the past, and the stillness of the present. This helps the reader imagine what life was like for the character when he was young. The words associated with the past are positive, whereas the words associated with the present are negative, helping the reader to understand how Ulysses feels about the present. Line 2o –“Gleams that untravelled world whose margin fades” shows how Ulysses believes that he still can go out and do things, as no matter how much he has done, he cannot have done everything. This line is important, as “Gleams” leaves the reader with the impression that it is almost tempting to
Ulysses to go and live like he did in the past.

In “My Last Duchess”, Browning allows the reader to understand the
Duke through what he is saying and what he is doing. The first two lines introduce us to the main topic of the Duke’s speech which is a painting of his last wife. The lines: "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall, looking as if she were alive" hint to us that the duchess is not alive anymore, but Browning has made us unsure, and therefore invites us to read more into the poem. Browning engages the reader by inviting them to make their own judgements about the Duke, and hinting on what he is
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