What does poet Robert Browning suggest about the duke s power in his marriage in My Last Duchess and the speaker s power in his relationship with his beloved in Life in a Love
In the Poem My Last Duchess by Robert Browning the heartless and haughty speaker explains a painting of his last wife while inadvertently revealing a darker side to his last marriage than one might view from they outside.
The poem depicts a dense [ stream of conscious feel to it by using language and sentence structure common to conversation earlier to the time period it was written. The use of
"'twas not" , and the English spelling of "favour" suggests the poem occurred in a time period in which husbands held power over their wives with such things as "nine-hundred-years-old names" and money. Browning's great usage of dated speaking style creates a historical medium from which the event which slowly unfold. The poem is masked in a conversation with one person speaking in a dramatic monologue about his beloved portrait of the last duchess he married. The rhetorical questions "Who'd...this sort of trifling" and end rhymes in the couplets throughout the poem "wall...call" and "had...glad" drive the poem from one line to the next . These techniques create motion in the poem much like the anger and arrogance that the Duke exerted towards his deceased wife to control her. The diction of this poem mirrors the force with which the Duke ruled his house as well as the social male norms at the time. ]
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