My Last Duchess Poetry Analysis

1495 Words 6 Pages
Poetry isn’t exactly known for being the most straight forward form of writing due to the heavy use of metaphors and sometimes fanciful imagery. However, it’s the messages that poets include in their writing that sometimes causes one to question the simplicity of the piece as a whole. This paper will analyze Robert Browning’s poem My Last Duchess along with the WWI poetry Break of Day in the Trenches by Isaac Rosenberg and The Soldier by Rupert Brooke as a way to show that historical poems have a way of presenting direct messages to and about the British nation as opposed to the events in which they are referring. Before looking into the possibly deeper political meanings that Robert Browning’s poem My Last Duchess might hold, an analyzation …show more content…
Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara’s first wife, Lucrezia di Cosimo, died after three years of marriage and then the Duke negotiated for a new marriage. Browning wrote this poem in the style of a dramatic monologue in the Duke’s perspective. There has been speculation about the true cause to the duchess’s early demise, one possibility being that the Duke had poisoned her (Mandel 742). Browning clearly chose to portray the duke as a murderer without outwardly having him state the fact. In the poem itself, lines 45-46 include the Duke saying “I gave commands/ Then all the smiles stopped together,” implying that the orders the Duke gave were ones that lead to the Duchess’s untimely death. In the poem, the duke is the murderer of his duchess, but had no consequences to this action due to his high state of power. He was even arranging another marriage at this point. With the real Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara, there was the same speculation about his potential bad deeds but nothing was ever proven. When writing My Last Duchess, Browning …show more content…
One of the messages that Rosenberg had chosen to represent with this poem is his hatred for the Great War. Rosenberg once wrote a letter to a friend saying “Believe me the army is the most detestable invention on earth and nobody but private in the army knows what it is to be a slave” (Banerjee 314). Rosenberg joined the army because of financial disability, not patriotism like many others at that time. He was not happy to be fighting in the war and from his poem, one can tell he didn’t truly believe in the cause. Rosenberg didn’t like the way that he was being treated throughout the war and wrote his poetry about his negative feelings as a way of letting people know this. The poems that he wrote could be considered a therapeutic method as a way of getting his anger at both himself and the United Kingdom out. Lines 15-16 say “Less chance than you for life/ Bonds to the whims of murder” (Rosenberg 2030). When speaking to the rat as he is in these lines, the speaker of this poem is expressing his sorrow and anger because of and at the war. These lines express a feeling of frustration because the speaker recognizes that there isn’t much that he can do beyond continuing to fight despite the murder of innocents and the never ending war. Rosenberg’s anger at the war creates a very negative tone for the poem that shows how he is not in support of the war effort but he

Related Documents