Robert Browning is known as one of the best Victorian era poets despite his many years being a playwright. The two poems, “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover” are dramatic monologues. Dramatic monologues are when a speaker speaks to a silent listener about an important experience in his/her life. Robert Browning developed his art of dramatic monologues from his many years of writing plays. They say these two poems are the best of Robert Browning’s career. These were the poems that everyone read and were very fond of in the Victorian era. The main theme in Robert Browning’s poetry is jealousy.
For instance, in Robert Browning’s poem, “My Last Duchess”, in which a duke killed his former wife because she was cheating on him with a count, shows jealousy. “Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; then all smiles stopped together” (Browning 856). These are the words of the duke who says that she was smiling at the count and he was smiling back then he had to give order to kill her out of jealousy (Browning 856). The duke is a very egotistic man who said “I chose to never stoop” (Browning 856). When he says this he means that he won’t just keep letting this women push him around and cheat on him so he chose not to stoop and put her to death. This man is a man who can jealous easily and he inferred by their smiles at each other that they were automatically sleeping together and immediately had her killed. The poem never exactly stated that the two were sleeping together but the duke obviously thought so when he gave his order that he bragged about. This duke is so cocky and arrogant that he is bragging about killing this woman to the count’s agent. The count is the man that she was suspected to be cheating with. Then here is this duke who doesn’t care because he is so sure of himself that he can brag about killing a man’s lover to a man who works for the count. This poem is loosely based on the life of Alfonso...
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