my last duchess-language

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  • Created on: 28-10-18 12:51
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  • My Last Duchess - Language
    • "(since none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you, but I)"
      • this shows the dukes arrogant and dominating nature.
      • this shows his power over the duchess.
      • the personal pronoun "I" shows that he is possessive of his wife.
      • the curtain is a metaphor for control over the portrait and therefore his wife. metaphor for power.
      • metaphorical curtain of secrets. the brackets could show the curtains.
      • he keeps the painting behind a curtain which means that the duke has access to the painting as the duke conceals her wife's picture
      • he controls who looks at the painting but couldn't control who looks at his wife when she was alive.
    • "paint must never hope to reproduce the faint half-flush that dies along her throat"
      • the verb "dies" shows how she was murdered
      • it shows how her power died wit her which foreshadows her murder.
      • "faint half flush" - alliteration which makes it more sinister. she is blushing going red. which connotes blood.
      • reference to death is at place - hints at the duchess fate
    • "but who passed without much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; then all smiles stopped together. there she stands as if alive."
      • sibilance emphasis for her murder.
      • question with no time for response suggests it is rhetorical
      • makes the image of the duchess' power which stems from her beauty more vivid. The phrase "all smiles stopped together" is  euphemistic(polite) suggesting that the duke had the duchess murdered.
        • The use of language here is cold showing his lack of emotion and reinforces that he sees her as a possession rather than the fact he loves her.
      • The caesura after "as if alive" also perhaps enacts the fact that he had her killed, the pause reflecting her death.
      • she treated everyone like the duke.
      • Sounds suspicious of her-maybe he thought she was being unfaithful.
      • imperatives reveals how he dominates his wife
      • this is a hint that the duke had his wife killed
      • sinister tone whch suggests he is cold and cynical
    • "that spot of joy"
      • oxymoron- "joy" and "spot" suggests little joy
      • Represents blush which suggests flirting. This makes the reader feel as though she is unfaithful
      • The speaker refers to the fact the Duchess blushes twice in the poem. This use of repetition shows how much it bothers him that she seems to be flirting and getting attention from other men.
      • It also objectifies her as a woman and shows that he feels she is his possession.
    • "she had a heart- how shall I say?- too soon made glad"
      • The duke thinks she is more impressed by other men's simple acts than his
      • browning uses caesuras to suggest the speech breakup of the duke to describe his wife's behaviour and the duke seems to struggle to find the right words. he perhaps struggles to find the right words because she was unaware of what she was up to and didn't want to expose the truth about his wife and to the extent in which she humiliated him as at this point he is socially inferior to his wife
        • he struggles to express his imitation
    • "My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name"
      • Shows how proud the duke is of his name and that his marriage is the greatest gift of them all
      • implying wife should be grateful for his 'gift' of a name, suggests she was not appreciative of him and his prestigious name
      • the duke thinks that his 900 year old gift is the most valuable thing so she thinks that his gift is the same thing that any other man gives her. he feels rejected other me give her gifts which suggests that his power feels limited over his wife as her behaviour wounds his pride and arrogance. it further heightens our understanding of how he belongs to the upper echelons of society. the caesuras reveals his condescending tone as he has to stoop so low with her childish behaviour. the punctuation and repetition creates a stuttering effect which underlines his exasperation with her behaviour


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