My Last Duchess: Overview

My Last Duchess and one other poem of your choice? Firstly, the presentation in ‘My Last Duchess’ Is a relationship that has no equality between the Duke and the Duchess. This Is shown through the title of the poem. The word ‘my Is a possessive pronoun and It connotes with the fact that someone has ownership over something else; In this case the Duke has ownership over the Duchess. The Duke Is objectifying the Duchess and the word after Is ‘last’ this suggests that the Duke has had more than one wife and they are his objects, they are not their own person, they belong to him.
This is further reinforced by the line ‘That’s my last duchess painted on the wall’ The word ‘painted’ implies that he has preserved his wife, that she is now a physical object. Also it has been manufactured by a man; her husband has created her identity through his personal view of her. Further on in the poem the Duke says ‘Nee then would be stooping; and I choose never to stoop. ‘ he says this because he is annoyed with his wife’s actions. The word ‘stooping’ means to lower yourself to someone else’s level.
This suggests that he believes he his higher up than her, so In order to explain his annoyance and is Jealously he would have to bring himself to her level. Furthermore when he says ‘l choose never to stoop’. The ‘choose’ Implies that one has power to make their own decisions and because the Duke has lots of power due to high title In the hierarchy It implies that he needs to reinforce the fact that he has lots of power to justify his actions of not explaining his feelings to his wife.


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The other poem I have chosen is Our Love Now which is similar in the fact that there is no equality in their relationship either. There is some sense of equality in the structure, in the sense that he man and the woman get 4 stanzas, with 6 lines. This visually gives the relationship in the poem equality on the surface. However the language presents there to be no equality between the two. It is a man who writes this poem he begins with ‘I said’ this is a 1st person pronoun- it prioritize his voice, thus meaning he believes he Is more Important than her.
The poet then uses ‘she said’ for the other side of the poem. The word ‘she’ is a 3rd person pronoun he Is talking about her and Is therefore a recollection of a dialogue and this means he Is denying her a voice cause he is simply interpreting what she said, when she might not have meant that at all. If the poem is read in numbered stanza order and if it is read in a sequence, the woman still gets the last word. At the end she says ‘The tree is forever dead. Such is our love. The tree’ is a metaphor for the love between the couple and because she says that the love ‘Is forever dead’ this implies that she believes there love is now non-existent and it will be forever more. Overall this implies she has ended the relationship, which also implies that she had control over the relationship. This could be a reason why he writes the poem, in the way that he does because it gives him a voice and therefore he can compensate for the lack of control he had over the relationship.
The second presentation of the relationship in ‘My Last Duchess’ Is that It Is very separate. This Is due to the feelings that the Duke expresses about his wife and the fact that she Isn’t Interested by him. He first describes the painting to be ‘a piece of wonder, now. The comma represents a pause and therefore the piece and it hasn’t always been a Wonder’. Due to the painting being an object ND this is what he saw his wife as, this then reflects his view on her and that he didn’t appreciate her that much until she was dead.
The word Wonder’ means a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful or remarkable. This reveals what the Duke thinks of his wife now that she is dead, when she was alive he believed she wasn’t faithful and didn’t appreciate him enough but now he believes in something different, he believes in the complete opposite to what she was when she was alive. However he describes the Duchess to be twats not her husband’s resent only, called that spot of Joy. In this statement the Duke is implying that his wife is promiscuous and his wife shouldn’t own a quality like this.
The ‘spot’ means she is blushing; this is associated with being embarrassed because they are in love. This then implies that she does not actually love the Duke; she doesn’t only belong to him as a lover. This separate relationship is reinforced by his very negative view on her when his wife was alive, he states ‘as if she ranked my gift of a nine-hundred- years-old-name with anybody gift’ this is an enjambment and the poet has used it o present the Duke’s anger and frustration towards his wife’s lack of appreciation.
The word ‘gift’ makes the Duke sound like a good person, it is his gift to her and therefore she should be grateful but because she isn’t showing her gratitude he is angry. Furthermore the ‘nine-hundred-old name’ presents the Duke to be a man of prestige and he is proud of this name. He is stating to the listener that he is above her and he is annoyed that his gift is being compared to anyone else’s gift, which is obviously not on the same level as his. Where as she seems to be grateful for anything due to, she ranks ‘anybody gift’ with his. The word ‘anybody suggests that it is anyone, with any class or social order.
The Duke presents his wife to be easily impressed and doesn’t have that much intelligence. Overall he wants her to worship him and only him but she is presented to be looking for other things by being promiscuous. The relationship in Our Love Now is also presented to be separate. To begin with there is a visual separation in the presentation of the poem. On one side there is the ‘l said’ where as on the opposite side there is the ‘she said’ and because Hess people have two different views on their relationship it puts emphasis on this from the very start.
There is also separation in the content of the stanzas but there is still the same theme. He uses alliteration in the skin slowly knits’. Knitting is an action that requires skill and patience, this shows that he thinks this will happen to their relationship over time. On the opposite side she says ‘There is always a scar, a permanent reminder’ A ‘scar’ is ugly it is an impurity and it ruins something that was once perfect. This gives a negative tone she believes that the relationship will no anger be the same as it once was.
On the second stanza he again uses a metaphor for their relationship, this metaphor is the red burnt flesh is ugly the word ‘burnt’ connotes with pain, which they are both suffering by. Although he has been positive in the previous stanza he begins to become more realistic by saying ‘it can be hidden’ this means he has acknowledged the burn but now he wants to avoid it and be secretive about it until (overtime) it has healed. She then replies with the skin remains bleached’ this is an even worse opinion of the relationship.
The word ‘bleached’ connotes with the skin unnatural and washed out; the pigment of the skin echoed when she goes on to say ‘and a numbness prevails’. This presents a metaphor for her feelings, she no longer feels anything. However the word ‘prevails’ suggests that this is superior to other feelings, as if she has tried to fight this feeling but the feeling of nothingness has conquered. Overall this shows they are both very separate in their feelings and emotions, he still believes their relationship can heal whereas she believes it won’t be the same as it once was.

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