“The Flea” who haunts “My Last Duchess”

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History has blessed the English linguistic communication with many great sentimentalists ; they were work forces and sometimes adult female who had an affinity for depicting the glorifications of love. Yet in the thick of such uninhibited enamoredness. they were a choice few who chose to compose about the seamy side of love affair. It was these plants which possibly best represented the complexnesss of the male-female relationships of the clip. Although written more than two hundred old ages apart. both “The Flea” by John Donne and “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning. analyze the selfishness and lubricious aspirations which frequently hamper a man’s ability to accomplish true love.

As the reader is introduced to the supporter of John Donne’s “The Flea” . it becomes clear that his lone romantic inclinations are fueled from below the beltline. Lines such as “It sucked me foremost. and now it sucks thee. and in this flea. our two bloods mingled be” ( 3-4 ) sound more like the secret plan to a 1950’s horror film. so a testament to true love. The storyteller concluding for composing this verse form is to convert the female object of his esteem that since there blood is assorted inside of a flea. it would non be a wickedness to blend other more sexual fluids. It is rather possible that the supporter of the “The Flea” was one of the discoverers of the bum pick-up line.

Much like the Narrator in “The Flea” . The Duke from Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess” is a adult male whose love is barely pure because it is fueled largely by greed and superficiality. As the Duke wonders over the picture of his late married woman on the wall. he seems to be more impressed with the prowess of the painter. so with observing the memory of the adult female who was one time his bride. “That piece a admiration. now: Fra Pandolf’s hands worked busily a twenty-four hours. and there she stands” ( 3-4 ) . The Duke seems about as happy with a picture. as he was with a life take a breathing married woman. because the picture represents all he found attractive about his married woman. and nil he did non. The Duke merely speaks positively of his late wife’s physical properties. and discusses her personality in a mode which seems to propose it contributed to her premature death.

It is dubious that the supporter in John Donne’s “The Flea” was every bit good acquainted with the object of his fondness as his opposite number found in “My Last Duchess” . Very small is known about the relationship the storyteller has with the adult female he is turn toing. and the tone of the protagonist’s lecherous despair seems to propose that he has have ne’er made love with the adult female he his turn toing. As the line “And pampered crestless waves with one blood made of two” ( 8 ) it becomes evident that the flea’s organic structure isn’t the lone thing which is swelling up. as the storyteller ponders the possibility of bodily fluids blending. The supporter seems to feed upon stereotyped female romantic phantasies of perfect matrimonial cloud nine as he manages to suit the topic of matrimony into his endocrine induced harangue. “This flea is you and I. and this our matrimony bed. and matrimony temple is” ( 12-13 ) . The grace in which this instead forced imagination is carried out. is kindred to the prowess found when a Canis familiaris dances on all 4s.

As “My Last Duchess” progresses it appears that affairs were much more life endangering than a simple sexual solicitation. The picture of his married woman. begins to remind the Duke of what he thought were his immature bride’s less applaudable qualities. The Duke was clearly upset about the manner his married woman interacted with other work forces. and this personality trait led to much jealously. “She had a heart- How shall I state? – Too shortly made glad. Too easy impressed ; She liked whateer she looked on. and her expressions went everywhere” ( 21-24 ) . As the lines are expressed. it becomes more evident that possibly the Duke’s jealously had something to make with his wife’s premature death. he didn’t want anything which another adult male was able to hold. The line “How shall I state? ” besides seems to propose that the Duke is seeking for words which might take to less intuition on his portion.

The storyteller of John Donne’s “The Flea” completes his instead unconventional pitch for sexual satisfaction by proposing that doing love with him. will make no more harm so a flea’s bite. “Yet thou triumph’st and say’st that 1000 find’st non thy ego. nor me the weaker now ; ” ( 23-24 ) . The storyteller seems to take a similar attack to courting his topic. that the snake in the Garden of Eden took when seeking to promote Eve to eat the out fruit. The manner in which the Narrator constructs his address. seems to propose that he believes the adult female he is turn toing is a virgin. as he downplays sex to a point where he makes it seems like it will be little more than a minor nuisance for her. The supporter ne’er one time speaks of lovemaking in a manner in which would do it look the least spot enjoyable to the female. This highlights the true selfishness of the storyteller who cares small about the adult female he is turn toing. because she is nil more than a set of sexual variety meats to him.

As the Duke’s soliloquy comes to a stopping point. he goes into more deepness about his disgust for his late wife’s deficiency of regard for him. “Oh sir. she smiled no uncertainty. whene’er I passed her. but who passed her without much the same smiling? This grew ; I gave bids. so all smilings stopped together” ( 43-46 ) . At this point the Duke stops speaking about his former married woman and begins treatments sing his approaching 2nd matrimony. These instead disconnected alteration of conversation. suggests that something happened after the Duchess stopped smiling for her hubby. which the Duke doesn’t want to speak about. most likely her slaying. This is one advantage the Duke has over the storyteller of “The Flea” ; he knows when to close his oral cavity.

When reading both “The Flea” and “My Last Duchess” in an stray context. the two male Supporters seem to paint their full gender with a less than favorable coppice. Both these verse forms exist most efficaciously when contrasted with a broader scope of Hagiographas from their several clip periods. which represent both admirable and ugly members of the male race.

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