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Essay in My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

Project id 1004208
Subject area Self Improvement
Document type Essay
Words 2251
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Just as the object of Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess" is a portrait, the poem is painting another portrait; even a portrait of this speaker. The portrait that the poem paints of this speaker --at first glance- is that of a madman: a absurd brute who slew his wife in a fit of jealous anger. However, by looking closely at the speaker's voice, analyzing the kind of the poem, as well as examining the historical context of this poem, as we can start to learn how the murder of the Duchess wasn't conducted in a mental anger, but rather was a logical decision based on social expectations. This isn't to say that the Duke's activities are automatically justified. There are many means to read a dramatic monologue beyond only the speaker's ideas and what appears apparent once the reader examines those notions. Needless to say, as a dramatic monologue, the main role of the poem itself would be always to paint a proverbial photo of the speaker; who they are and what inspires them. However, beyond that, if some formal and historical context is added to the poem, how we can begin to comprehend the way the poem might be read in various ways, and the way -in the event of "My Last Duchess-" that the Duke could be judged in different ways. Before one can comprehend multiple interpretation of a dramatic monologue according to historic and formal context, it's necessary to first carefully examine the concrete information that's provided to the reader. When it comes to dramatic monologue, the concrete information is your first portrait the decoration paints of this speaker by taking the reader into their world. The first portrait we get of the speaker is that of a ridiculous and covetous man, as much of this movie discuses the Duchess' flirtation with different guys. For example "she had...

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