The Villainy In My Last Duchess By Robert Browning

1132 Words 5 Pages
Similarly, ‘My last Duchess’ by Robert Browning explores villainy through the jealousy and norms of the Duke. Through dramatic monologue, we learn about his late wife and get a close reading that mentions his last duchess in his self-important speech. Browning uses the dramatic monologue to show us the controlling, jealous, and arrogant traits that the duke possesses, without mentioning them; this allows the reader to question his norms and values. The duke seems to be talking to someone and tells the history of his relationship with the duchess. He looks at the grand picture of his late wife “looking as though she is alive”. Readers are left to suspect that the duchess is no longer alive and has no importance to the duke; he speaks of the …show more content…
Readers are left with disgust as the Duke portrays such pride as he boasts proudly of killing his wife. In contrast, the Victorian (1837–1901) audience would see the Dukes irrational murder of his wife as reasonable; As women were expected to obey and respect their husband as they were ‘property’. With the Duke claiming that he was not treated with respect and that the Duchess had an affair ,readers would agree with her death as women were expected to have sex with only one man and with the male being the breadwinner, women were expected to serve their husband needs emotionally(attending their interest) and physically(taking care of appearance).Robert Browning wrote 'My last Duchess ' to show the clash between art and morality .The poem criticises the Victorian era as it explores social hierarchies, loss of faith and patriarchal values. ‘My Last Duchess ‘reveals that the power and wealth in the Victorian Era exist in people of aristocracy. The Duke’s power is ascribed through his family “900-hundred-year-old name” and further more by his …show more content…
The metaphor used in his statue of "Neptune, / Taming a sea-horse”, explains the darkness within the duke as he now can dominate and truly own the duchess as if she were a unruly animal. In comparison, Both my last duchess and The Laboratory explore love as a matter of social hierarchy and shows the importance of status in the Victorian era .Both characters are unstable and have an obsession with the thought of control, this need shows the destruction of morality as both see the matter of death and control over one’s life as necessary and a norm. Similarly, Iago and the Duke have no particular real reason to commit murder or even a valid reason, both character commit murder through the name of jealously then, the Duke is a villain as his arrogance of wealth and powerful status allows him to view the world as a series thing can be possessed. The duchess was a victim in his callous views on the world and Browning explores how Pride is not an attractive quality, being upper class as well as having good morals don 't necessarily go together, hence creating an egotistical insensitive

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