My Last Duchess, Robert Browning Flashcards Preview

Mrs Latham IGCSE Revision Poetry > My Last Duchess, Robert Browning > Flashcards

Flashcards in My Last Duchess, Robert Browning Deck (11)
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1
Q

Meaning

A
  • Spoken by Duke of Ferrara
    • Showing man (organising his marriage) portrait of dead wife
    • Duke describes his first wife, who he killed
2
Q

Context

A
  • Written in Victorian Era England
  • Poem set in Italian Renaissance
3
Q

Themes 2x

A
  1. Gender
    1. Victorian men obsessed with power over women
    2. Poem criticises Victorian attitude towards women (same as it was before)
  2. Power
    1. Feels have to control his wife/feels what she does is a refection of him
      1. = weakness
    2. Male dominance/power through oppressive control
4
Q

Imagery #1

A

“Notice Neptune, though, / Taming a sea-horse,”

  • Points out valuable belonging
    • Demonstrates: Duke = collector of beautiful objects which he can control
      • His wives = another one of these collections
  • Metaphor for Duke
    • Feels his role over women = domineer & control
      • (Sea = male-dominated society of Victorian England)
    • “Neptune” = god of the sea, powerful male figure = Duke
    • “sea-horse” = Delicate, beautiful creatures = Duchess
      • Symbolises relationship between Duke and women
      • Wants to overpower them & make them serve him
5
Q

Imagery #2

A

“none puts by / The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)”

  • Symbolic
    • Can controls smilies of his wife
      • Enjoys being in control + have power over other
      • Symbolise control over past wife and future wives he wants
    • Duke does not like sharing possessions
      • = controlling and selfish
6
Q

Tone

A

Spiteful, arrogant & insensitive

“I gave commands; / Then all smilies stopped”

  • Cold, short, brutal line = ambiguous
    • Stopped smiling
    • Euphemisms for her death
  • Shows despotic control that Duke has + uses power to kill wife for no good reason
    • Gender roles in Victorian England
      • Men = complete control over women
    • Desire to control his wife’s behaviour
      • Metaphor: For Victorian society’s obsession with behaviour and reputation of women
  • “commands”
    • Treats her like servant or slave
  • Silenced voice of wife
    • Absolute control of Duke
      • = Victorian women were voiceless
7
Q

Structure #1

A

Enjambment

    1. Sounds like real dialogue
      * + enhance speaker’s pomposity (self-importance)
    1. Reflects Duke doesn’t have complete control
      * = uncontrollable and wild in his anger
      * Tries to control other but can’t control himself = blurting out emotion
      • Talking about things he shouldn’t
        * Image = crazy man - can’t control his outbursts
8
Q

Structure #2

A

Dramatic monologue + One long verse

  • Duke doesn’t stop to think about what he’s saying
    • Doesn’t care about listener
      • Self-obsessed
    • Reader is overwhelmed + breathless = immensity of poem
    • = how overwhelming Duke is
9
Q

Comparisons 2x

A
  • ‘Sonnet 116’
  • ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’
10
Q

‘Sonnet 116’ Comparison

A

About very different idea of love

11
Q

‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ Comparison

A

Reverses gender relationship with man falling victim to powerful woman