My Last Duchess

Topics: Poetry, Duke, Stanza, Pronoun, Personal pronoun, Tercet / Pages: 4 (1452 words) / Published: Sep 12th, 2014
How are relationships presented in ‘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 ‘E’en 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 his jealously he would have to bring himself to her level. Furthermore when he says ‘I 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.
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 the 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

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