Poetic Techniques In My Last Duchess By Robert Browning

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We all have an inner monologue in which we contemplate our world and our lives. These never-ending internal conversations are what guide our thoughts and actions and even our perception of the people around us. Robert Browning is famous for his poetic style of dramatic monologue, which he often uses to create the illusion of continuous thought. Utilizing a variety of techniques, he is able to bring about the effect of spontaneity, as exemplified in his poem “My Last Duchess.” Within this Victorian poem, the speaker is having a conversation which resembles more of a rant than a civil discussion. The style of the poem, with its continuous lines and sudden shift in thought pattern reflects the true way that people think. This characteristic of …show more content…
The Duke believes that it is his right that he “attempts to acquire another Duchess who will respond to solely him” (Miller 33). As he tells the story of how the former duchess does all of these acts that he doesn’t appreciate, thanking everyone and being happy with more than just his presence. However, he shows his ego “through his very skill in speech” (Miller 33). As he lists these things it is his way of confirming what he wants in a new wife and letting that family know what he will not stand. The way that Browning lists these shows that the Duke thought low of his wife, however this was not unusual for the time period. Also in the first part he says that the duchess would blush and the husbands not in the room, but later on he also says she would blush about anything. This is somewhat a confirmation process for the Duke that the duchess didn’t do anything ‘immoral’, still he didn’t like what she did.
The main way Browing shows the “steam of consciousness” is through enjambment, it is shown many times throughout the poem; this helps show the sporadic thought process of the duke. The first true showing of enjambment is “I call / That piece a wonder”, enjambment helps show pause through the break in the sentence (Line 2-3). The breaks help put importance on a part of the poem. These parts of the poem are important, since
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The first is that the speaker is “using a case-making, argumentative tone, utters the speech that makes up the whole of the poem” (Negruţ 150). This is used in “My Last Duchess” because there is one speaker and the whole poem is him giving one speech.
The second aspect is that the speaker speaks to an audience or believing an audience is there. In “My Last Duchess” the duke is talking to the servant, showing that there is an audience that the duke is with someone.
The third is that there is something “controlling the poet’s choice and formulation of what the lyric speaker says is to reveal to the reader, in a way that enhances its interest, the speaker’s psychology, nature, temperament and character at a certain moment in his life and the dramatic situation in which he finds himself” (Negruţ 150). Browning’s poem is all about how Alfonso II of Ferrara is talking about his ex-wife, and how she did all of these things Robert Browning is famous for his poetic style of dramatic monologue, which is shown in “My Last

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