Not My Best Side is broken up into three distinct verses, all of which are monologues. The duke declares that she had no sense of distinction and discrimination. In the Poem My Last Duchess by Robert Browning the heartless and haughty speaker explains a painting of his last wife while inadvertently revealing a darker side to his last marriage than one might view from they outside. The representations of the Duchess, which focus on her ever-present smile and easily satisfied nature, come in sharp contrast with the desperate, sputtering language of the Duke as he tries to tell their story on his own terms. Also it has been manufactured by a man; her husband has created her identity through his personal view of her.
The poem begins with the Duke speaking in a nostalgic tone about the painting of his duchess. The script-like nature of the monologue removes Browning from his narration, and thus distances us from its reception; the actual story of the. . Based on the poem's style, structure, and historical references, it becomes evident that even if the speaker did not directly kill his wife, he certainly had something to hide. In fact, most of the lines uttered by him testify the fact. The narrator of the poem indicates an arrogance embedded so deep in a bold sense of male superiority.
My response and comment is specifically based on the character of the Duke, for I believe the poem, or rather the Duke in the poem himself has been entirely successful in putting forward a comprehensive view of the several attributes of his personality while also being unable to convince the readers to support his claim. In 1846 Robert Browning married Elizabeth Barrett who was also a poet. A woman shows her control over her lover by seducing him to get attention, moving him to a position she likes and treating him like she is the boss of him and his possessions. At first glance the reader only sees this story but upon reading the poem in more depth and looking at what the form and language devices tell us, we can observe a much more deeper meaning. Browning uses the dramatic monologue form very skillfully to show us the controlling, jealous, and arrogant traits the duke possessed without ever mentioning them explicitly. Also it has been manufactured by a man; her husband has created her identity through his personal view of her. She was a possession to him as a person, and is a possession.
Fra Pandolf was not the only man that made the duke jealous. I think Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess are alike as Robert Browning uses similar themes of love in them e. The title of the poem My Last Duchess suggests that the Duke had had more than one Duchess. He is astounded by her practice and misgivings while interjecting his own speech with excitable lines to lure the reader. On the other hand in the poem The Laboratory is spoken by a woman who is directing her eyes to an apothecary who is a chemist helping her make her poison. Though the technique is evident in many ancient Greek dramas, the dramatic monologue as a poetic form achieved its first era of distinction in the work of Victorian poet Robert Browning. It is the ideal result to the hard work and toil each person does, in order to become greater than they are now.
The Duchess's sin is that she violates the code of conduct for a noble wife. These techniques create motion in the poem much like the anger and arrogance that the Duke exerted towards his deceased wife to control her. He was especially jealous of Fra Pandolf, the man who painted the duchess in the poem. Compare the three dramatic monologues you have studied on the way in which the characters reveal their true nature through what they say. This is what sets the tone of the poem, it creates the cold, detached feeling that in the Victorian era would have been considered propriety and acceptable conduct.
Likewise, his casual reference to Neptune reveals the unfathomable power he relishes over his unfortunate wife. Browning gives the audience a picture of the dark and distorted beginning of a new couple and marriage. This also proves that the Duke is a possessive and haughty man, who perceived his wife as more of a trophy or art object than as a human being. Although the duke's monologue appears on the surface to be about his late wife, a close reading will show that the mention of his last duchess is merely a side note in his self-important speech. This passage is key to the text as a whole because it directly relates the past of the duke with the desires of his future. Figures of speech used Simile: The first two lines of the poem in which the Duke compares his late wife to a living person is an instance of simile. The speaker also points out to the bronze statue of Neptune taming a sea horse , where the woman is yet again portrayed as an animal to be domesticated, and not as a rational being to be regarded.
The Duchess: It is through the expressions of the Duke that we get a glimpse of how the Duchess was in real life. Even art objects serve as tools of demonstrating power; the portrait of the Duchess seem to endow the Duke the uncanny feat of controlling the lifeless duchess. Through his speech, the speaker unintentionally reveals his own personality. At the very beginning, the Duke comments on a painting containing a portrait of his Last Duchess. There is a second story to this poem an underlying message that the poet sends to raise awareness to a social issue that was widespread but was never addressed and in some cases thought of as normal or even worse acceptable. He praises the portrait as a masterpiece by Fra Pandolf. In fact, most of the lines uttered by him testify the fact.
This poem is a metaphor in itself of the oppression of women and domestic violence in the Victorian Era. There is also a copious use of enjambment or a poetic technique in which a line ends in the middle of a thought and does not have any punctuation. Browning illustrates the complexity of the controlling Duke by showing his carelessness and arrogance by the words he uses to impress his guest. They eloped to Florence, Italy, where his wife gave birth to their son, but after the death of Elizabeth, Robert moved back to London and it was here that he died in 1889. He wanted more respect and believed that to be what he deserved, and when he felt it was not given he took her life from her.