Kendra Collins English 2116 Professor Newberry 13 February 2017 A Reader’s Guide to Robert Browning “My Last Duchess” Title and Author Robert browning was born on May 7,1817 in Camberwell, England. To and accomplished pianist and a bank clerk. It is said by the age of five he was already proficient of writing and reading. At the age of twelve he wrote a volume of Byronic verse entitled Incondita, which his parents attempted to have published. By thirteen birthday Browning had received the rest of Shelly’s work, and declared himself a vegetarian and an atheist in emulation of the poet. Browning had serval failures when it came to publishing his work like Pauline and Sordello. However, Browning is highly known in the Victorian Period for …show more content…
Dashes and parenthesis tie a modifying side remark in a double knot. The poem also evokes emotion while somewhat telling a story. Browning also uses syntactical pauses that coincide with line endings creating tension in the rhythm and places emphasis on the horrors the Duke reveals as the sentence end in mid-line (Dupras). Analysis of Major Themes/ Ideas During the Victorian Period in England was a time of gender inequality. Women were inferior to males and, objects of desire. In lines (1-2) of the poem he beginnings pointing out a portrait on the wall of his “last duchess” and stating, “Looking as if she were still alive” (2), quickly informing you on why she’s considered to be his “last duchess.” He continues to brag about who the painter was while putting emphasis on it, “I said “Fra Pandolf “by design, for never read strangers like you that pictured countenance” (5-7). By doing this shows how he considers himself on a higher pedestal than others, and how he downgrades others intelligence. The Duke goes on to say “Since none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you but I” (9-10), “how such a glance came there; so, not just the first” (12). He’s telling the listener that not just anyone gets to see the portrait, the way they could see her when she was alive. As the Duke continues he goes to show his anger and jealously. He felt as if his duchess was for his eyes only. When he
Through out the monologue, the Duke reveals his arrogant and pride stem from his aristocrat ancestry name. He criticized the Duchess appreciations in life to be unfair. For example, this quote explain the Duke’s arrogant as he belief she did not respects his “gifts” enough, ”She thanked men, – good! but thanked / Somehow – I know not how – as if she ranked / My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name / With anybody’s gift.” (Browning 893) The line “nine-hundred-years-old name” can also be interpret that the Duke consider his status to be superior than hers, therefore it is the Duchess’s obligation to valued what he has given, more than others. Furthermore, the Duke’s pride would not allow him to stoop lower than his position in order to protest
In "My Last Duchess," the speaker describes a specific painting to the reader. It is a portrait of the Duke's late wife. The speaker directs the reader's attention to the Duchess's passionate responses given not only to the Duke, but also to many other men who admire her beauty. The artist conveys this lady's charming and flirtatious personality. The Duchess had many admirers that competed for her attention. Her rare beauty and flirtatious manner attracted many admirers. Her facial features express her passion and gratitude towards the men that competed for her attention. She had a teasing and playful quality, which she used to make the Duke jealous of the men attracted to her beauty. The Duke spoke communicated his displeasure about her improper behavior. She continued to smile and attract the attention of
The poem “My Last Duchess” is a historical event that involves the Duke of Ferrara and Alfonso who lived in the 16th century. Robert Browning "My Last Duchess" presents a narrative about a recently widowed Duke who talks with an emissary had come to an arranged marriage with another lady from a powerful and wealthy family. In the perspective of Duke, power and wealth were integral in marriage and was determined to be married to a wealthy lady from a famous family. As the Duke orients the emissary through the palace, he stops and shows a portrait of the late Duchess who was a lovely and young girl. The Duke then begins by stating information about the picture and then to the Duchess. Duke claims that the Duchess flirted with everyone and did not appreciate the history of the family: “gift of a nine hundred years old name.”(33) However, when an individual continues to read the poem, it is evident that the Duke played an important role in killing the lady. Duke states that “he gave commands; / Then all smiles stopped together”(45-46) he used these words to define the death of his beloved Duchess. The aim of the essay is to analyze literary devices that emphasize the content of the poem, which includes rhetorical questions, exclamation mark, and em dash.
“My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning and “ The Rape of the lock” by Alexander Pope are two poems that convey a theme of love and objectification towards women.For instance, both poems are similar in their use imagery and metaphors to grasp their audience attention. For example, in “My last duchess” the author shows the wife in the poem as an item controlled by her husband and uses his love for her as an excuse to abuse his power. Her life is ruled by him and she would have to deal with his insane jealousy because his obsessiveness is dominating his reality of his relationship . In this poem the male role has many characteristics one of them being paranoid and not helping him reflect on reality by him owning shrine of items that belonged to all his earlier wife’s. His late wife is shown as a piece of imagery where she is kept on a wall trapped not able to leave his sight or be allowed interact with others. (Browning,1-2) In “ The Rape of the Lock “ the poem starts off with Belinda,the main character, in a dream sent to her by her guardian Sylph. The dream sends a message to Belinda that she must be careful with all men in her life once she has received the message she awakens to a love letter at her sight and forgets the dream in its entirety. Throughout the course of the poem Belinda’s Sylphs are required to protect her chastity and help her contain her purity.. The man in her life is using her as an item and not as a human being.Pope encourages these characteristics
In the story “My last Duchess,” the Duke is speaking to the envoy of another nobleman of his second bride to be. The Duke describes the circumstances of his last duchess in which it was painted and boasted how Fra Pandolf the painter made her “look as if she was alive”. The Duke continues speaking about the unfortunate fate of his former wife. It is evident that a crime has been committed; He was jealous and annoyed of his easily impressed wife so he murdered her. His tone and demeanor is one of extreme arrogance and it is clear he is a dangerous man who poses a threat to any and all women he claims to love.
In her book Recollections, Browning describes what poetry means to herself. She explained that it “became a distinct object with me; an object to read, think, and live for” (Preston xii). Browning was described as a strong woman-poet who had little to no training. She came from the “Italian hills into a prim English feminine household, and inevitably assuming there that attitude of superiority to
Throughout history, gender roles have been an important barrier in society. Women are forced to satisfy expectations established by men and society. “My Last Duchess,” by Robert Browning, focuses on the powerful Duke establishing certain expectations of the Duchess, and attempting to control her. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, concentrates on Laertes establishing certain expectations of Ophelia, and seeking to control her. A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf, centers on societal expectations of Judith, and her father trying to control her. In all three texts, men have the ability to control women and have the freedom to do as they please. Women must conform to the expectations of faithfulness, attentiveness, and chastity.
Thus the Duchess is bound to the Duke and has become imprisoned within his art collection as nothing more than a possession. The Duke exemplifies this view when he makes reference to another piece of his art collection, as if the current and previous subjects of his monologue were completely analogous, “Notice Neptune, though/ Taming a sea horse, thought a rarity/ Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me! (Browning 54-56), he truly appreciates both pieces with similar enthusiasm. Although the Duchess is allocated no space to give her side of the story, through the Duke’s depiction the reader can infer that she was killed for having her own free will and as such there is zero doubt that she is a victim of imprisonment of the Duke’s egocentric ideals. While he puts an adulterous spin on her actions, by declaring:
In "My Last Duchess", by Robert Browning, the character of Duke is portrayed as having controlling, jealous, and arrogant traits. These traits are not all mentioned verbally, but mainly through his actions. In the beginning of the poem the painting of the Dukes wife is introduced to us: "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,/ looking as of she were still alive" (1-2). These lines leave us with the suspicion that the Duchess is no longer alive, but at this point were are not totally sure. In this essay I will discuss the Dukes controlling, jealous and arrogant traits he possesses through out the poem.
Indeed, it quickly becomes clear that the Duke disliked many things about his dead wife. The Duke dislikes how the Duchess liked everything that she saw, believing that she was “too easily impressed; she liked whate’er she looked on”. It disappoints him because he wanted to impress her with his marriage to her and also with his money and lifestyle. What annoyed the Duke most was that:
In My Last Duchess, however, love appears to be concerned with the extent to which the Duke loves himself, “I choose/never stoop”. This infers that the Duke views himself in a
The two Browning poems, ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ were written to convey to the reader how women were treated in that era; as possession, as assets. Both of these poems can be read from different points of view and they also both are what is
The Duke takes control of the situation entirely as he is the only speaker throughout the poem and his way of speaking leaves no scope for interruption, by the listener. The way he addresses his listener, “That’s my last duchess”, calls attention to the peculiarity of his designation which he indicates in a very proud manner. The apparent pauses throughout the poem, shown by dashes, indicate hesitation as the Duke considers what to say. This clearly suggests his manipulative attitude. As soon as he points towards the standing portrait of his last wife, he asks his listener to sit down –“Will’t please you sit and look at her?” His way of asking is not very polite and is more of a command which shows the psychology of a man with power.
The poet uses dramatic monologue, where the readers and the messenger are almost one person. From the description that the Duke uses to describe the Duchess, one feels as if he/she is the messenger that the Duke is addressing. The persona remarks about the innocence of the Duchess, which irks him. She finds delight in things such as riding a mule or the setting of the sun. The Duke uses symbology to connote his anger, which gets the better of him that he kills her. Her substitute is the piece of art, reflected at the beginning at the end of the poem. The use of both simple and archaic language styles creates the symbolic image that he uses to explain to the