Also at play psychologically is the human ability to rationalize our hang-ups. Another possible clue of strangulation: distressing semicolons punctuate the murder scene, and those gaping pauses mark her gasps for breath and her erasure. He will use his skills to make her succumb to his will. He does not reveal whether she is deceased or put away in a convent somewhere. This irony allows the reader to question himself and put in him the desire of knowing the hidden message of the poem. Character Portraits Separate students into groups of three and ask them to read through the poem together.
In the end, he cannot control time or his own mortality. The speaker starts by giving a description of the weather and Porphyria's actions once she gets into the house. This is a poem telling a story, the title of this poem reveals that the speaker, a duke, is referring to his last wife. While you may not like or agree with the information posted here, this site is a place for students who are learning to express their opinions in a public, written format. The Duke in My Last Duchess is visibly a tyrant, a neurotic who does not feel any repentance for the demise of his first wife. The of speaking is colloquial.
He admitted that she smiled at him pleasantly when he passed by, but it bothered him that everyone received that same smile from her. This shows the great love that the speaker felt for his duchess. Language must be examined and studied to uncover the meaning it carries. He imagines that probably the monk-painter hinted at the gown excessively covering the wrist of the Duchess or that the artist remarked that his art could never recapture the delicate beauty of the Duchess and the Duchess thought that she must respond with cheerful courtesy. In many ways, this is the artist's dilemma, which Browning explores in all of his work. All of the faults that the Duke is referring to are actually qualities that one should find appealing in a wife. He notes with the sense of conventional Victorian shock that she, through the blush or through the words, weighed the trifles for the Duke like the sunset scene on the Western horizon, the cherries brought to her by some intruder in the Duke's sole property rights over the Duchess , or the mule that she rode on equally with his 'significant' embracement—it must be noted here that the Duke embraces only the body but the Duchess embraces natural and universal humanity.
The obvious manifestation of this is the murder of his wife. Gradually, his real character unfolds over the course of his speech. There is also a metaphor; the painting symbolizes the memories he has of his last Duchess. The opinions and ideas expressed in this blog are strictly those of the individual authors. After her death, Alfonso courted and eventually married the niece of the Count of Tyrol. The Duke of Ferrara then brokered a deal with the Count of Tyrol to marry a daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor after that wife died, he married her niece. This cannot be mistaken as a hint of lament.
Yet, he is also a connoisseur of art, and it is this amalgamation of dual characteristics that makes his personality appealing. And once again, the Duke, shows off his control as he did in the beginning parts of the poem. The reader can immediately sense that the Duke is controlling. The poem opens with the negotiation between the Duke of Ferrara and the servant of the count. Even if he did not kill his wife, he certainly has something to hide. Browning's use of irony exposes the Duke to us: the Duke himself could not know the natural liveliness of the Duchess and remained a stranger to his own wife because of his obsession with himself.
Likewise, his casual reference to Neptune reveals the unfathomable power he relishes over his unfortunate wife. Browning effectively uses Dramatic Irony by allowing the Duke to unknowingly reveal his faults to the reader. In terms of meter, Browning represents the duke's incessant control of story by using a regular meter but also enjambment where the phrases do not end at the close of a line. The colloquial language, the rough rhythms like that of the ordinary language of conversation, the very ordinary situation and many such features make the poem realistic and memorable. Woman were not viewed as people at the time the story of the poem takes place, but as property.
By combining dramatic monologue, irony, precise diction, and imagery together, Browning is able to produce his desired haunting effect. This is a curious thing to say. The excellence of the poem lies in the dramatic irony of the Duke's witlessness. The Duke is extremely manipulative, has an extreme sense of family pride, and feels a sense of ownership to the memory of his deceased wife. Men will continue to look at and admire the Duchess, who will in turn, continue to smile down at them for eternity. Robert Browning was known for his dramatic monologues.
She is the former wife of a duke, the duke being the in the poem. He also seems irritated that she does not seem to understand the importance of his place in life. She had A heart — how shall I say? My favor at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace — all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least. The duke is staging a show for the envoy by drawing and closing curtains and speaking rhetorically. Browning, of the Victorian age, wrote real life poetry that reflected upon some of the darkest aspects of Victorian life.