Interpretation of Poems by Robert Browning, William Yates, and William Williams

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The Duke of Ferrara is a character and the speaker in the poem “My Last Duchess,” by Robert Browning. The reader witnesses a man that is controlling and whom will destroy anything that he cannot control. One realizes immediately, the extent of the Duke’s need for power in the title and in the first line when he uses the term “My” which shows ownership (Browning). The Duke cannot control the Duchess’s “spot of joy,” (Browning line 21) therefore; he commands to have her killed (Browning line 45). He still feels the need to control the Duchess, even after death. This control is revealed when he opens the curtain and declares, “(since none puts by / The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)” (Browning line 9-10). The Duke is speaking to a…show more content…
He asks the sages to help him in this conversion by asking them to “consume my heart away” (Yates line 21). This statement makes the reader believe that the speaker is surrendering to and seeking for a spiritual rebirth from a divine being. The speaker begins to imagine a time, maybe in the after-life, where he can be preserved. He decides he will preserve himself in unnatural things, such as art when he says, “Once out of nature I shall never take / [m]y bodily form from any natural thing.” The speaker eventually becomes satisfied as he pictures himself in the after-life “of hammered gold and gold enameling / To keep a drowsy emperor awake,” (Yates lines 28-29) which is immortal. The speaker goes through a sort of emotional transformation.

The poem “The Red Wheelbarrow,” by William Williams, can be interpreted in several ways. The first thing that stands out is that it seems as if every line depends on the next. The way Williams separates each sentence, makes the reader realize that everyone and everything depends on someone or something else. For example, if the reader reads line 1-3 he/she would think that “so much depends / upon / a red wheel” (Williams lines 1-3). However, after reading the next line “barrow” (Williams line 4) one learns that it is a red wheelbarrow that so much depends on. The red wheel depends on the barrow to be a helpful tool; the wheel would be useless without the

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