During that time, it was common for a young woman to be arranged in a marriage. These lines definitely show his jealousy and rage and give us the idea that he arranged her death. In the poem my last duchess, Robert Browning carefully crafts the character of the duke to illustrate that vengeful male power can lead to dire consequences for women. A remarkably amoral man nevertheless has a lovely sense of beauty and of how to engage his listener. The Duke is simultaneously the Renaissance Machiavellian figure and the Victorian man with his vanity; materialism, lack of spirituality, and lack of awareness of human values. The clever language Browning chose suggested that something was wrong, but left enough ambiguity to quickly capture our attention as readers.
That is exactly the experience which Browning means for his audience. Literature of the era, in circles both journalistic and literary, portrayed women as fragile creatures in need of a husband. The Duke had an absolute love for his Duchess as most husbands and wives do. She did not seem to be any more thankful for this than she was thankful to watch the sun set. She was married at fourteen and dead by seventeen. He does not answer that question, but the fact that he notes this gives a little bit of insight into why he was the only one who was allowed to open the curtain. And if so, what happened to her? These traits are not all mentioned verbally, but mainly through his actions.
He expected her to be proud of the name she acquired through him and to flaunt it. . The Duke is not only an overprotective, jealous maniac who apparently murdered his wife for smiling too much , he is also an arrogant aristocrat who only cares about himself, his title, and his wealth. He views it as being flirtatious. I need a little help opening the essay. This is very suspicious behaviour.
The reader is constantly torn between feeling sympathy for a true lover of the arts or judging a villain who killed his own wife. The portrait is a work of art that he alone can both possess for his own pleasure and at the same time restrict who can view it. Wives were viewed as disposable, and their husbands would often accuse them to do away with them when they desired to marry someone else. I think it really depends on how you want to interpret the poem. Thus the verdict of punishment against her crime — the sentence of death. He asks his listener to sit and look at the life sized painting of her.
His arrogance and jealousy stem from his aristocratic ancestry and we, the audience, see him as a shallow human being unable to ever show true love to his Duchesses. Browning forces his reader to become involved in the poem in order to understand it, and this adds to the fun of reading his work. The narrator of the poem indicates an arrogance embedded so deep in a bold sense of male superiority. New York: Pearson Langman, 2005. The silent listener, the envoy to whom the duke recounts his narration of his last duchess was possibly the chief of his entourage, Nikolaus Mardruz.
The casual atmosphere adds more to the dramatic quality of the work; showing that the Duke really sees nothing wrong with what he had done to his wife. They used blazon to emphasis the beautiful bodies of the women in those days. The Duke says that the figure in the portrait has the very look of life. Nobody has the nerve to question the Duke and his arbitrary actions of self-will. The poem conveys the controlling nature of the Duke by the use of one stanza in the entire poem. While showing this portrait of his last Duchess, the Duke begins to reminisce on their lives together, and, although he chooses his words carefully as he speaks, he ends up telling the visitor more than he realizes. It seems that the Duke commanded her in such a way as to make her stop smiling altogether.
. It demonstrates this, as there is no interruption from the servant and no break whilst the Duke is talking. In this poem, one can deduce that he wrote the poem to highlight the issues of marriage and the inequality in relationships between men and women in the Victorian era. Browning reveals that this mentality was widespread during this time. Neptune, of course, is the god of the sea. .
She may have thought that she and her male interest at the time were alone, because not any woman, in that era would have been seen with another man besides their husbands. Throughout the dramatic monologue the Duke reveals his pride, his vanity and his need for control. This statement illustrates his power as his old family name shows he is a wealthy and influential man. His dramatic monologues center on a persona, whose dark shades subtly come to light through the commonplace utterances of the speaker. During the negotiations, the Duke takes the servant upstairs into his private art gallery and shows him several of the objects in his collection. Just need a direction or help starting. He notes with the sense of conventional Victorian shock that she, through the blush or through the words, weighed the trifles for the Duke like the sunset scene on the Western horizon, the cherries brought to her by some intruder in the Duke's sole property rights over the Duchess , or the mule that she rode on equally with his 'significant' embracement—it must be noted here that the Duke embraces only the body but the Duchess embraces natural and universal humanity.
By doing so, he not only reveals information about his former wife, but he sheds light on his own character, including possibly admitting to her murder. The more he attempted to conceal these traits, however, the more they became evident. Instead, readers can imagine a specific setting and detect action and reaction based on the hints given within the verse. Instead, he exact his chosen punishment; death. The Duke chooses his word very carefully, when he talks to his friend about the painting of his wife.
Now she belonged to him, in his dysfunctional rationalizing, as yet another of his prized artifacts. The Duke did not like that she would blush at the flirtations of another man. I need help with my thesis statement as well. He imagines that probably the monk-painter hinted at the gown excessively covering the wrist of the Duchess or that the artist remarked that his art could never recapture the delicate beauty of the Duchess and the Duchess thought that she must respond with cheerful courtesy. The poem takes place in media res of the Duke consulting and arranging his second marriage. The Duke continuously wants control over his women, art, and nearly everything else in his life.