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My Last Duchess. Robert Browning. Basics:. Who? What? Why? Central concern(s)/theme(s)?. Remember to give credit to Browning!!. Too many essays sound as though the Duke is a real person – you MUST give credit to Browning for using techniques to create the persona of the Duke!

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My Last Duchess


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    1. My Last Duchess Robert Browning

    2. Basics: • Who? • What? • Why? • Central concern(s)/theme(s)?

    3. Remember to give credit to Browning!! • Too many essays sound as though the Duke is a real person – you MUST give credit to Browning for using techniques to create the persona of the Duke! • That is why topic sentences are so handy…

    4. Beginning…first impressions? • Quotations? • Link to central concern/theme(s)? • REMEMBER WHERE POSSIBLE – SPECIFIC ANALYSIS!!

    5. The Duchess? • What was she like? • How do I know this? • Remember although everything the Duke says is negative, we do get an insight into her character…

    6. The Duke’s vanity? Arrogant, superior attitude? HOW is this conveyed?

    7. From lines 34-43, the Duke is asking if the Duchess is to blame – if he had told her…perhaps she would have known that she was irritating him. But he shouldn’t HAVE to tell her. • “I choose Never to stoop.” Enjambment used to great effect here – placing emphasis on “choose” – it is all in the Duke’s hands, he has the power. Word choice of “stoop” shows that he feels it would belittle him to suggest improvements to his wife. He should HAVE to.

    8. “as if she ranked my gift of a nine-hundred-years-old-name with anybody’s gift.”

    9. How do we know he is deadly? • SPECIFIC ANALYSIS! • Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands As if alive.

    10. Importance of the metaphor to end the poem? • REMEMBER it is Browning who has chosen to use the statue as a metaphor for the Duke. • The Duke does NOT compare himself to a God…this is done through our analysis!