Delayed Responses To Support The Dramatic Monologue Essay

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As well, Browning utilizes delayed responses in order to support his dramatic monologue. This, then, expands on the circumstances surrounding the Duchess’s death. As the Duke describes her countenance and penchant for having her “looks” everywhere (23-24), his charges against her begin mounting. However, allowing his guest and the audience gaze into this aspect of her life serves primarily to reveal him as an insecure man who abused his wife because she did not center his existence. Furthermore, as he discusses her smiles (43) and how he “gave commands” (45) to stop them, both his guest and his audience get the sense that this story is a veiled warning for his potential new bride. In particular, this assertion stems from the fact that he immediately addresses his guest about the terms under which he will marry the Count’s daughter. The Duke’s need for power is once again confirmed after…show more content…
Because the audience is brought in the middle of the poem’s action, there exists yet another layer to the system of concealing and revealing in the dramatic monologue. The audience enters at a specific moment in time in which the guest has already begun communicating with the Duke and, presumably, discussing the reasons for his visit and the terms of the proposed marriage. This significance of this event is evident if one analyzes the Duke’s speech as a warning to the potential new Duchess as the Duke reveals his incessant need to possess things. As he pulls back the curtain on his late wife, he forces the Count’s agent to stare at the painting and ultimately redirects the attention to “Neptune / taming a sea horse” (54-55). Neptune’s statue serves a dual purpose: to show again the Duke’s ownership and power as well as to allude to his ability to control even the most unruly of creatures. This becomes the ultimate warning and declaration of his
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