Browning Last Duchess Paper

Published: 2021-09-10 20:05:09
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Category: William Shakespeare

Type of paper: Essay

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This sample essay on Browning Last Duchess provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
I am going to be discussing three poems, My Last Duchess by Robert Browning, When We Two Parted by Lord Byron and Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day by William Shakespeare. I will compare all three love poems and discuss their differences in their opinion of love. I will also be sharing their experiences that they have had in their relationships. The first poem I will be discussing is ‘Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day’ by William Shakespeare. The opening line of this poem shall I compare thee to a summer’s day is a rhetorical question which is reflected throughout the whole of the poem.
This sets the image of a beautiful day, which he compares to love. During the poem he slowly builds the perfect image of the person who he is comparing to a summer’s day. It is clear to say that he is for love and sees it as a marvellous thing to have. “Thou art more lovely and more temperate” tells us that the person you love should be more lovely and delightful than a summer’s day and will bring you more joy. “Rough winds do shake the buds of May” then tells us that even in summer you get winds and disturbance but love should be powerful enough to overcome these interruptions as he later on says “But thy eternal summer shall not fade”.
My Last Duchess Robert Browning
Despite the disappointments love can bring your lover will never lose the beauty that they posses is shown in the tenth line of the sonnet. Shakespeare then goes on to say that even after death your love will never fade as he writes this poem to forever keep this person into eternal memory. The end of the sonnet tells us that as long as mankind exits he hopes that his poetry too will go on and ensure the immortality of his lover. The next poem I will be talking about is ‘My last duchess’ written by Robert Browning, this poem is an example of how emotions can suddenly turn from sweet to sour.
The first impression we get from the poem is the title, ‘My last duchess’. This gives us a slight glimpse of what the Duke is like, “My” imposes his duchess to be property belonging to him, the use of the possessive word my is mildly threatening too. It would have been more formal to had said ‘The Last Duchess’. The use of “Last” is also suggesting that he has the intent of wanting another wife, this is then confirmed later on in the poem. He then uses the phrase “Looking as if she were alive” which is repeated later on in the poem to remind us of the quality that the Duke can provide and is a reminder of his wealth and power.
It would also seem that he would be gloating her, now that he is in control he allows people to see her smile but when she was alive he didn’t like other people seeing her smile. “That piece a wonder” reinforces how he is proud of the painting and the quality that he can have. Later on in the poem he tells us how he would not “stoop” to tell her how he was offended by her common courtesy to those of lower ranks and he thought that she was too easily pleased over a compliment or small favour. ” I choose never to stoop” tells us he has a lot of pride and maybe thinks that she has too little pride.
The Duke took offence by this as he thought it disgraced his 900 year old name, instead of telling her how he was annoyed he ruthlessly “gave commands” making “smiles stopped altogether”. This tormented the duke as he saw his name (Ferrara) as a very special gift and thought she was abusing it. Although she should have reserved her smiles for the Duke and nobody else it was still an extreme decision and shouldn’t have been taken. “There she stands as if alive” is then repeated just after when he “gave commands” which gives a sinister effect as it was he himself who “gave commands”.
Just because she was eccentric to other people who are inferiority to her doesn’t give him the right to draw the curtain for his duchess. It is arguable that the Duke was jealous, as he wouldn’t gloat her when she was alive but does when she is dead. Although the poem starts with a light tone when he describes her picture, there is a later a detectable change where he starts to express his feelings. As the poem closes he mentions a wonderful casting of Neptune, as if it couldn’t compliment itself he points it out. Throughout the poem the Duke expresses his loathing for his last duchess to the Count.
This poem demonstrates how presumably passionate love that made him marry her turned into pain and disgust resulting in a cold end to the relationship. However the pictional reference he gives to her is “a wonder” and yet he unjustifiably killed her. The poem is also in rhyming couplets, which gives a proud feeling. When We Two Parted by Lord Byron is in many respects similar to my last duchess as both relationships end bitterly. The title “When we two parted” tells us already that once again love did not last, and the next line “In silence and tears” tells us it was not a joyful, but solemn.
Half broken-hearted” suggests there was increasing sorrow after the breaking up; it also compliments the title of the poem. Lord Byron then says “Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss” shows us how he is in despair and shows how disgusted he is with her as the love has lost its passion. However later on the poem begins to become unravelled as “And light is thy fame” tells us that she had a bad reputation. As he overhears other people talking about her in a non-respective way. “And share in its shame”, he has become humiliated to have been with her.
This lights Byron’s flame as he rages on to say “A knell to mine ear”. He has become so shameful to have been with her that when he hears her name it is like a beating to his ear. “They know not I knew thee” shows he knew her sexually and very intimately. “Who knew thee too well” tells us that other people knew her sexually. During the end of the poem we see his sadness that if he were to see her again he would greet her with “Silence and tears” as it would bring back all his haunted memories.
From these poems I conclude that love is a very precious thing to have, but can also turn into hate and regret as we discover in Lord Byron’s poem. It’s clear that Shakespeare sees’ love to be precious whereas this is less evident in the other two poems. This is shown as Lord Byron’s poem is all about dwelling, shame and hurt which makes him feel so disgusted with his lover that he can’t bare to hear her name again. We see an unhappy relationship, which turns into obsession and turns in contrast to absolute hate.
My Last Duchess also tells a bad experience with love which ends in the most extreme action. Shakespeare says that it is not love if it changes, but I disagree because there are all sots of possibilities. For example your lover could cheat on you. Shakespeare’s poem shows how love should be judged and how good it is when you have it. All in all I would say that love is a very delicate thing, which is precious whilst you have it and to be cautious not to damage the relationship, it is also short and can be unpredictable so make the most of it.

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