Compare the Ways Poets Present Relationships in ‘Les Grands Seigneurs’ and in 'My Last Duchess'

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Compare the ways poets present relationships in ‘Les Grands Seigneurs’ and in one other poem from Character and Voice In this essay I will be commenting on the presentation of relationships in two poems. The first poem is ‘Les Grands Seigneurs’, in which the speaker remarks on her life before marriage, where she was adored and worshiped by men, and how it has changed after marriage. ‘My Last Duchess’ is a dramatic monologue in which the speaker comments on his late wife and her character, suggesting that she was unfaithful to him and hinting that he may have murdered her because of this. One feature that is common to both poems is the presence of male dominance. ‘Les Grands Seigneurs’ presents the idea of male dominance in the final stanza of the poem, where the speaker remarks on how her role as a wife now that she is married: “I became (yes overnight) a toy, a plaything, little woman, Wife, a bit of fluff”, in this quotation a list of metaphors have been used to display the speaker’s transformation from a ‘queen’, who was worshiped by men to ‘a bit of fluff’, who is forced to obey by her husband’s orders. The images in the list appear to be diminishing in value; the speaker starts by comparing her status with a toy, however by the end of the list it has become ‘a bit of fluff’, which suggests that this imagery reflects how marriage has diminished her value and attraction. Moreover, the imagery of the wife being a ‘plaything’ relates to the concept of male domination, as it suggests that in her husband’s eyes she is nothing more than a possession, a ‘plaything’, belonging to her husband. Furthermore, the quotation “My husband clicked his fingers, called my bluff” adds to the theme of male domination as it displays how she has no control over the situation. The image of the husband clicking his fingers to signal his wife causes the speaker’s role as a wife seem almost synonymous to a slave; she is powerless to his command. Likewise, in ‘My Last Duchess’ the...
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