My Last Duchess

  • The poem is analysed using the method of FLIRTS (in doc the method is explained- what each letter means)
  • Includes quotations
  • You could rewrite those note briefly in an exam, therefore you won't run out of things to say

Tips:

  • Make your own version of this, but bullet point instead(simplified)
  • Print off the poem and find appropriate quotations for each part needed for the analysis, e.g for language
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  • Created by: Amrit
  • Created on: 21-04-12 18:29
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GCSE Anthology- Character and voice. AQA Syllabus
My Last Duchess- Robert Browning
Method- FLIRTS (Form, language, imagery, rhythm, tone and subject)
F- A dramatic monologue- to envoy (speaking directly) More
powerful. Iambic pentameter, enjambment and caesura make it seem
more like natural speech. The poem is written in iambic pentameter
(the rhythm of each line is `de-dum', five times) and rhyming couplets.
One long stanza. Rhyming couplets make the speaker sound
educated.
L- Rhetorical question-line 22 and 35: ``A heart-how shall I say?'' and
``This sort of trifling?''. He is stressing his belief that he was right to
put a stop to her. Repetition on line 2 and 47: ``as if she were alive''
and ``as of alive''. Line 34, 42 and 43: ``Who'd stoop to blame'', ``E'en
then would be some stooping'' and ``I choose Never to stoop''.
Language is used about power and objectification- the duke felt the
need to have power and control over the Duchess. He saw her as
another of his possessions, to be collected and admired, just like his
expensive paintings. He likes to control art and beauty. The repetition
of ``that spot of joy'' suggests that this annoyed him. It reflects how he
was jealous that she was not honouring him and annoyed that she
did not treat him like a `king'.
I- There are lots of personal in this poem, as one might expect in this
situation but in this case they are significant as one of the themes is
the narrator's high opinion of himself and his selfishness. Many of the
words also relate to his love of possessions including his former wife
(``My Last Duchess''). The narrator, in a rare moment of humility, says
he is not very good with words: ``Even had you skill/In speech- (which I
have not)'' and in a sense, he is right. This is not a poem full of

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GCSE Anthology- Character and voice. AQA Syllabus
wonderful imagery and it would reflect the capable, intelligent and
sensitive soul if it was; this certainly does not describe the Duke. The
Duke has no respect for acts of kindness or a simple thing of beauty.
R- Iambic pentameter and rhyming couplets are used throughout the
whole poem.…read more

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