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The Frailties of Power in Brownings My Last Duchess - Essay Example

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Thesis: “My Last Duchess” is an allegory and dramatic irony of the frailties of power because as the Duke reveals his actions and intent for power over women and society, he distinctly exposes his own immorality and immaturity.
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The Frailties of Power in Brownings My Last Duchess

Download file to see previous pages... I. Introduction A. A Duke proposes marriage to a Count’s daughter through his messenger, not by words of love, but by hidden threats and symbolism that affirm his power. B. This essay analyzes the meaning of Robert Browning’s (1842) poem, “My Last Duchess.” C. It argues that “My Last Duchess” is an allegory of the frailties of power because the Duke reveals his actions and intent for power over women and society, but not his own morality and maturity. II. The setting shows that the duke controls everything. A. The Duke has authority over famous artists. 1) He mentions Fra Pandolf, a fictional renowned painter. 2) Browning (1842) ends the poem with the Duke bragging about another fictional prominent sculptor, Claus of Innsbruck. B. The Duke uses the room of the painting to depict his control over people. 1) The Duke asks his audience to appreciate the painting, but it is more of an order than a request. 2) He controls the painting now, a control that he would have wanted for his last wife. III. Browning uses language to convey the Duke’s authoritarian attitudes and behaviors. A. He has complete power that no one questions. 1) The title is significant to the meaning of the poem. 2) The title shows his power. B. Browning employs rhyme to emphasize the Duke’s superior thinking of himself. 1) The word “wall” (Browning, 1842, 1) rhymes with “call” (Browning, 1842, 2) because the only reason that the Duchess is on the wall is due to the Duke’s decision. 2) “Rarity” (Browning, 1842, 55) rhymes with “me” because the Duke thinks that he is a rare superior male specimen (Browning, 1842, 56). IV. Browning uses dramatic irony to depict that the more the Duke hides, the more that he reveals his real self. A. Browning shows the difference in words and deeds. 1) The Duke wants to be seen as courteous, but he is impatient. 2) He wants to be perceived as generous, but he is not. 3) He is an immature, jealous husband and a power-hungry ruler. B. Browning demonstrates that the Duke is an insecure man with no morals. 1) The Duke will not accept no for an answer. 2) His object is not love, but power. V. Conclusion A. The Duke is not subtle with his authority. B. Browning shows that power corrupts people. C. But power is not enough to prove that one person is truly powerful inside. A Duke proposes marriage to a Count’s daughter through his messenger, not by words of love, but by hidden threats and symbolism that affirm his power. This essay analyzes the meaning of Robert Browning’s (1842) poem, “My Last Duchess.” Browning (1842) employs the structure of a dramatic lyric to narrate in a conversational style to a Duke’s marriage proposal strategy. The Duke is believed to be the Duke of Ferrara. In this poem, the Duke seeks to gain a woman’s hand through a depiction of his dead duchess’s painting. “My Last Duchess” is an allegory and dramatic irony of the frailties of power because as the Duke reveals his actions and intent for power over women and society, he distinctly exposes his own immorality and immaturity. The setting shows that the duke controls everything in his land, especially his people. The Duke has authority over famous artists. He mentions Fra Pandolf, a fictional renowned painter. The artist “[w]orked busily a day,” suggesting supreme obedience out of fear (Browning, 1842, line 3). The work is so perfect that the duchess looked almost alive because if not, the Duke seemed to be the kind of person who could order a bad artist to the gallows. Browning (1842) ends the poem with the Duke bragging about another fictional prominent sculptor, Claus of Innsbruck. Claus’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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