We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Nobody downloaded yet

Power Struggle in the Victorian Era as Reflected in My Last Duchess - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Name Professor Date Power Struggle in the Victorian Era as Reflected in My Last Duchess Power, individuality, cleverness and deceit—these are only some of the words that are often associated with Victorian women. As Spencer (375) claims, women in this period realized the powerlessness of their gender in the past society, thus developed a tendency to outwit the male personality…
Download paper
Power Struggle in the Victorian Era as Reflected in My Last Duchess
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
Power Struggle in the Victorian Era as Reflected in My Last Duchess

Browning was born in England in 1812, to an average Christian family. His father owned a rare book collection from which Robert acquired the love of books and inspiration to write. As a little boy, he was said to have learned to read at the age of five. He received education in the arts mainly at home, and learned greatly from his father. His mother endowed him with belief in God which he carried on for life. Moreover, Browning is known to be the loving husband of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who is also a well-known poet. These considerations guide readers to the thought that Browning’s theme in My Last Duchess is mainly inspired by the poet’s observation of his society. My Last Duchess illustrates the battle of the sexes in the Victorian Period. It presents the monologue of a duke who can be considered psychologically ill as he recalls the memory of his dead wife, who he kills himself. As Friedrich (656) claims, the duke in the poem is the duke of Ferrara of Italy whose wife was rumored to be poisoned. In the poem, although the death itself of the duchess draws much interest from the audience, the seeming calmness of the duke presents a deeper controversy. The speaker discusses about his wife’s qualities as he shows his visitors a painting of the duchess. Although he speaks calmly, his speech is marked with hesitations and contradictions (Mannle (3). He asks his guests to sit down yet seems to be ordering them, saying, “Will 't please you sit and look at her?” He asks the guests to sit down not to relax while looking at the portrait of the duchess but instead to allow him to justify his thoughts and actions, to convince his guests to affirm him of his decision to kill his wife. The duke attempts to convince his audience by telling them the negative qualities of his wife. He claims, …She had A heart . . . how shall I say? . . . too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere. (21-24) The duke claims that his wife was too friendly and easily impressed, “too soon made glad, too easily impressed”(22-23). From these lines, readers can sense the jealousy of the duke. He implies that his wife was never satisfied with him, with the things he gave, and still looked at other men. Thus, he says, “Sir, 'twas not/Her husband's presence only, called that spot/Of joy into the Duchess' cheek…” (14-15). In saying these, the duke reveals his struggle to please the duchess, which is a sign of power struggle. Power struggle is further reflected as the duke recalls his wife’s unethical behavior. He narrates, …--and if she let Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, E'en then would be some stooping; and I chuse Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. (39-46) The duke considers the smile of the duchess as a form of sarcasm, thus he orders his servants to stop smiling. This line confirms the view of Mannle regarding the duke’s tendency to order the guests around as he tours them. When spoken to the visitors, the lines above could be treated as a warning to never smile at what he is saying. Such behavior illustrates the serious and strict attitude of the duke, his incapability for humor, and his strict compliance to the rules of ... Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Power Struggle in the Victorian Era as Reflected in My Last Duchess Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.net/english/50663-poetry
(Power Struggle in the Victorian Era As Reflected in My Last Duchess Essay)
“Power Struggle in the Victorian Era As Reflected in My Last Duchess Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/english/50663-poetry.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
My Last Duchess: Literary Questions
As the Duke takes the emissary through the palace, he halts to a stop and faces up front the portrait of the deceased Duchess, inexorably a youthful and lovely lady. This picture of the late Duchess takes the Duke aback, who then starts to recall about the portrait meeting, subsequently about the Duchess herself.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Comparison in the Voice Presentation in The River God, My Last Duchess and The Hunchback in the Park
My Last Duchess is a poem by Robert Browning in narrative form in which a Duke talks about his wife, the Duchess. This poem also starts out quite innocently enough but, like the River God, the tale thickens towards the end with suggestions of murder. The Hunchback in the Park, by Dylan Thomas, tells the tale of a hunchback from an observer’s point of view, and how his deformity has condemned him to a life of outcast solitude.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
My Last Duchess vs The Story of an Hour
This paper draws a comparison and contrast between the two stories. The two stories commonly depict emotional dishonesty of wives towards their husbands, and the role of women in marriage, but differ in the causes of stress for women in the married life. Women have frequently been depicted to crave freedom in the literature.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Civil Rights Era Struggle
This practice took place in Africa during the early times even before the landing of the Europeans or any other groups. This is because slavery occurred between different ethnic tribes that were in Africa and was perpetrated by kidnapping, capturing prisoners during war, selling debtors and convicting people of various crimes.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
The Frailties of Power in Brownings My Last Duchess
The Frailties of Power in Browning’s “My Last Duchess” Name University THE FRAILTIES OF POWER IN BROWNING’S “MY LAST DUCHESS” Thesis: “My Last Duchess” is an allegory and dramatic irony of the frailties of power because as the Duke reveals his actions and intent for power over women and society, he distinctly exposes his own immorality and immaturity.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Robert Brownings My Last Duchess
Rather inadvertently it is the Duchess who evokes our sympathy, for she is the victim of a power-hungry renaissance man's ego. At the very onset, the Duke calls attention to a painting on the wall, which happens to be that of his late wife - "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall/ Looking as if she were alive." This statement reveals how the Duke relegated his wife from being a living, breathing person to a mere adornment on the wall.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
My Last Duchess by Robert Browning
One plan to teach the poem to high school students might be to have the poem read and acted out by three volunteer students, followed by a brief note-taking lecture, concluded with classroom group discussion divided into four groups which then present their conclusions to the other groups.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
The place of women during the Victorian era has been clearly highlighted by Tennyson describing men as wielding swords while women stayed by the hearth holding needles. Queen Victoria became a model of domestic virtue and marital stability during her time.
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
My Last Duchess
blinded by jealousy and makes him so cruel that he can put an end to the life of a woman who disobeys him and doesn’t act according to her social status. The duke or the speaker of the poem is self obsessed. He refers to the painting as his personal belonging and he
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
My Last Duchess/ Robert Browning
The poem is loosely based on historical events that involved Alfonso, the duke of Ferrara, who lived in the 16th century. The listener is an emissary who is arranging the duke’s marriage to another young beautiful girl. This messenger has come to negotiate the
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Let us find you another Essay on topic Power Struggle in the Victorian Era as Reflected in My Last Duchess for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us