Essay on A Marxist Reading Of My Last Duchess And Porphyria 's Lover

1553 Words Apr 16th, 2015 7 Pages
To what extent is a Marxist reading of "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria 's Lover" useful in opening up potential meanings? Ultimately, the source of tragedy in both 'My Last Duchess ' and 'Porphyria 's Lover ', is the capitalistic societal structures that provoke the oppression of its people. Though this subjugation may arise from the corrupt economic system that Marxism critiques, Browning 's scrutiny of society may also delve into social barriers such as feminism, and the adverse psychiatric affect capitalism has on the populace. Browning relied on his inherited wealth to freely write poetry, prompting the argument that he represents Marxist ideology through his conformity to the idea that 'your social circumstance determine much ' - perhaps a stimulant to Browning 's critique of capitalism in these texts. Browning titles his dramatic monologue, "My Last Duchess", which immediately infers the aristocratic oppression of it 's inhabitants, given the title 's possessive reference to one 's "Duchess". The narrator, 'The Duke of Ferarra ', is shown to convince an envoy for a family 's daughter 's hand in marriage; through commodities such as statues "cast in bronze for me!", he impresses the envoy with the material wealth that represents his socioeconomic position. The Duke 's opulence echoes the Marxist ideology of a bourgeois - a capitalist who 'alienates ' his workers and sees them as 'production units... rather than human beings ' - highlighted through "Frà…

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