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My Last Duchess


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Published in: Technology, Business

My Last Duchess

  1. 1. Poetry Across Time: Character and voiceKeyLanguage: connotation, imagery, metaphor, simileStructure and form: stanzas, type, patterns, contrast, juxtapositionPoetic methods: alliteration, caesura, assonance, rhythm, rhymeCharacter and voice: who is speaking and to whom? Tone of voiceLinks: comparisons to other speakers, methods and themes Immediate separation between the poet and speaker – within the theatrical framework of st Genre: plays with Title (1 person): Sense of dramatic monologues. gothic tradition of ownership, sequences and examining the dark aristocracy. Untold story hidden in secrets behind old details of the painting – as money. My Last Duchess with this poem. Similar to Establishes Ozymandias – the location (same significance of artefacts. Full rhyming couplets as River God). FERRARA throughout shows another affiliation with That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Shakespearean theatre. Deliberate use of Looking as if she were alive. I call ambiguity/ That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands Rhyming couplets are less innuendo Worked busily a day, and there she stands. conventional for long suggests Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said narratives, which make jealousy. “Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read this feel contrived. Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, Metaphor - But to myself they turned (since none puts by letting out of the curtain I have drawn for you, but I) Archaic diction evocative secrets. And seemed they would ask me, if they durst, of character – clearly How such a glace came there; so not the first dating the speaker as a Repetition of distant figure. Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ‘twas not full name suggests Her husband’s presence only, called that spot obsession/ Of joy into the Duchess’s cheek: perhaps The character’s secrets fixation. Fra Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps are betrayed by Must never hope to reproduce the faint semantics as he Half flush that dies along her throat”: such stuff chooses words from an Browning obviously violent field. makes it clear Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough that meaning For calling up that spot of you. She had is to be gained A heart-how shall I say? –too soon made glad, Duke’s politeness slips through Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er as source of his hidden interrogation of She looked on, and her looks went everywhere. turmoil is revealed euphemisms. through Browning listing Sir, ‘twas all one! My favor at her breast, his grievances. The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
  2. 2. C&V themes – what do each of Duke’s self-interjections become a sign of the characters in these poems his instability or inability to conceal his guilt. value most? Speaker is born She rode with round the terrace—all and each into a wealthy lineage, Would draw from her alike the approving speech, cementing the Or blush, at least. She thanks men—good! But thanked gothic natureEmphasis on Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked and creating athe importance My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name sense ofof keeping up With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame superiority.appearances –a character This sort of trifling? Even had you skillwho values In speech—(which I have not)—to make your willthis over Quite clear to such a one, and say, “Just thishuman life. Enjambment, as with Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss ‘river God’ shows anRhetorical Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let inability to fully collatequestion Herself be lessoned so, not plainly set and separate hissuggests Dukehas no real her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse stories from his --E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose emotions.awareness ofwho he is Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt Ambiguity –speaking to or Whene’er I passed her; but passed without Duke thinks hehis vast Much the same smile? This grew; I gave her commands; has beenimpropriety. Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands cleverer than he As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet has – Browning’sBrowning hints the company below, then. I repeat comment onat a sense of The count your mater’s known munificence arrogance andguilt behind Is ample warrant that no just pretence wealth?the tyranny? Of mine dowry will be disallowed Voice: clear distinction between Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed public and private conversations. At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll goChooses artappealing to Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though, Browning’s evocation ofhis Taming a sea horse, thought a rarity, an extreme patriarchyvanity/desire Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me! (comment on Italianto be god-like. Preoccupation with artists and prestige. society?) Structure: we only find out who the listener is at the end to give a sense of the Duke’s contrived behaviour and also for a bleak, comic effect in realising who is being told all this info. Interpretations of the poem:  A commentary on the arrogance of wealthy and powerful men who see the world as a series of things to be possessed.  A study in how our own subconscious betrays the secrets we keep when we allow ourselves the vanity to talk at length.