Compare the presentation of relationships in My Last Duchess
Compare the presentation of relationships in My Last Duchess

Compare the presentation of relationships in My Last Duchess

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 5 (2135 words)
  • Published: October 17, 2017
Text preview

In this essay I am going to write about how Robert Browning portrays love in the three poems “My Last Duchess, Porphyria’s Lover and The Laboratory”. All three of these poems are dramatic monologues. Dramatic monologues are a combination of the words dramatic and monologue. The “dramatic” says that it could be acted out, and is a form of drama, however the “monologue” defines it as a speech that one person makes, either to themselves or to another. A dramatic monologue is written to reveal both the situation at hand and the character him/herself.

A dramatic monologue should include a fictional speaker/audience, symbolic setting, talismanic props, dramatic gestures, an emphasis on speakers’ subjectivity, a focus on dramatics, problematics of irony/non-irony and involved readers role playing. Robert Browning was born in 1812 in South London, Camberwell and in 1889 he died in Venice, Italy, He is buried in Westminster Abbey. Browning’s best works were about people from the past in a form of a dramatic monologue. Robert Browning usually wrote about the darker side of human nature.

He showed us how love is not just full of happiness but also sadness and horror. Robert browning was a master of dramatic monologue and used them to show the darker side of human nature. In all three poems love is expressed in three different ways. In the poem The Laboratory jealous love is shown because the women is getting someone to make poison to kill her husband/boyfriend. “Soon, at the King’

...

;s mere lozenge to give/and Pauline should have just thirty minutes to live! ” This tells us that she wants her husband/boyfriend to die as soon as possible.

She wants to get her own back on what he did to her in the past. In the poem Porphyria’s Lover possessive love is used. “In one long yellow strand I wound three times her little throat around/and strangled her” This shows us that the love in this poem is possessive because Porphyria’s Lover is committing a murder which means that the lover could not get Porphyria so decided to murder her which meant no-one else would be able to have her. He has killed her in his own way which quite unusual. Not everybody would strangle someone to death by their own hair.

In the poem My Last Duchess obsessive love is shown, as the Duke is still admiring his wife who died 3 years ago, by looking at her picture which is painted on the wall. “That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, /looking as if she were alive”. This tells us that even though the Dukes wife is not alive he still thinks of her even though she attracted many other men. The 3 three poems that I am analysing all have deaths occurring in them. Porphyria’s Lover is a poem were the victim has been strangled to death by her own hair. In one long yellow string I wound/ Three times her little throat around/ and strangled her”.

This gives us the emphasis that perhaps Porphriya’s lover was too obsessed with Porphyria so he decided to kill her with her own hair and not an

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay
View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

other weapon. In My Last Duchess the dukes’ wife’s murder has already happen in the past; but the poem does not tell is how the murder had taken place. It is left suspicious for the reader. “That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, /looking as if she were alive” From this we are aware that she had died in the past as her portrait is on the wall as a remembrance.

However, in The Laboratory the death is about to take place. The woman is making poison to kill her partner so it can kill him, as she was jealous. “Grind away, moisten and mush up thy paste/Where they are, what they do: they believe me tears flow” This indicates that she is rushing into making the poison as she wants the poison to be done properly and is almost enjoying the anticipation of what is to come. We get a very clear sense of the how the victims are in all three of the poems: My Last Duchess, The Laboratory and Porphyria’s Lover.

However, in neither case do we accept the speaker’s views of the victims because the speaker is obviously biased nor one gives a perspective on their victims from the point of view. The character in My Last Duchess is the Dukes’ wife and from the information in the poem we can tell that she is a beautiful woman, but to the Duke’s mind she had too little pride.

Also the Duke explained that his wife was extremely flirtatious and too easily impressed. She let other men please her and they were not even important to her. Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er/ she looked on, and her looks went everywhere” This line gives us the impression that when the Dukes wife was alive, she was attracted to many men and whenever she went somewhere someone would be looking at her in a flirtatious way and obviously then she would flirt back as she was known to be very flirtatious woman, although she was married to the Duke. The style and structure of the poem adds the effect to the poem. My Last Duchess is written as a dramatic monologue.

This style of poem suits My Last Duchess because the speaker which is Duke comes across as very controlling, especially as he seems to be a little jealous as he could not control his wife’s smile for himself, other men got her looks and smile as well as she was very flirtatious. The victim in the poem Porphyria’s Lover is Porphyria who was strangled to death by her own “Yellow string hair”. From the information in the poem we can tell that Porphyria is a woman who is lively and likes to party.

Which done, she rose, and from her form/ Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl/And laid her soiled gloves by united/ And let her damp hair fall”. This shows us that she just arrived back from a party and the weather outside was very bad. “The sullen wind was soon awake”. The weather is described at the beginning of the poem as angry which enhances the reader to what

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay