My Last Duchess

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  • Created by: Rayne
  • Created on: 31-03-15 22:54

Dramatic Monologue

Dramatic Monologue:

  • A peom with a character who presents an account centering on a particular topic
  • Character speaks all the words in the poem
  • During their discourse, the speaker intentionally or unintentionally reveals information about one or more of the following: personality, state of mind, attitude towards topic, response and reaction to developments relating to this topic
  • Main focus is personal information not the topic the speaker is discussing
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Historical Context

Historical Context:

  • Loosely based around historical events involving Alfonso Duke of Ferrara who lived in the 16th century
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  • The Duke is the speaker of the poem and tells us he is entertaining an emissary who has come to neogiate the Duke's marriage to the daughter of another powerful family
  • He shows the vistor through the palace and stops before a portrait of the late Duchess-a young and lovely girl
  • The Duke reminiscies about the portrait sessiosn and then the Duchess
  • His musings display that he did not agree with her disgrafeful behaviour as he claims that she flirted and did not appreciate his gift of his name
  • As the monologue continues the reader realises that the Duke arraganged for hos wife to be killed
  • Having admitted this, the Duke returns to arranging another marriage with another young girl.
  • As the Duke and the emisaary are leaving the painting, the Duke points out another notable artwork in his collection 
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  • Dramatic monologue 
  • Rhyming penameter lines
  • Uses enjambment 
  • The speaker is clearly distinct from the poem and the revelation of the Duke's character is the poem's primary aim.
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  • Personal prononuns- "My" repeated and also in the title- creates a jealous tone
  • Iambic penameter- Duke is using a formal tone and has a rhetorical elegance to polish his speech
  • Parenthesis lines 9-10- shows that the Duke can control his painting and hide it like the curtains do
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