Analysis of Dramatic Monologue in My Last Duchess

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Analysis of Dramatic Monologue in My Last Duchess

By | Jan. 2013
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The Analysis of Dramatic monologue
In My Last Duchess

Abstract: Dramatic monologue which is an important poetic form which invented and practiced principally by Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Matthew Arnold in the Victorian Period. Though the technique is evident in many ancient Greek dramas, the dramatic monologue as a poetic form achieved its first era of distinction in the work of Victorian poet Robert Browning. Browning's poems My Last Duchess and Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, though considered largely inscrutable by Victorian readers, have become models of the form. This article will analyze this form in My Last Duchess. Key words: Dramatic monologue, Robert Browning, My Last Duchess

Introduction
A dramatic monologue is a piece of spoken verse that offers great insight into the feelings of the speaker. Not to be confused with a soliloquy in a play (which the character speaking speaks to themselves), dramatic monologues suggest an auditor or auditors. They were favoured by many poets in the Victorian period, in which a character in fiction or in history delivers a speech explaining his or her feelings, actions, or motives. The monologue is usually directed toward a silent audience, with the speaker's words influenced by a critical situation. M. H. Abrams notes the following three features of the dramatic monologue as it applies to poetry: 1. A single person, who is patently not the poet, utters the speech that makes up the whole of the poem, in a specific situation at a critical moment […]. 2. This person addresses and interacts with one or more other people; but we know of the auditors' presence, and what they say and do, only from clues in the discourse of the single speaker. 3. The main principle 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 temperament and character.[1]

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