Robert Browning and Mathew Arnold's poems may be compared on the grounds of the personality of the speakers and the themes. The personality of the speakers is on the basis of being contradicting. The duke in Browning's "My Last Duchess"ÃÂ is a proud man only interested in rank and order. He believes his "gift of a nine hundred year old name"ÃÂ should be honored above all else. He believes that he should be shown complete respect and be the center of attention while in his home. He thought his wife should be for him and his pleasure only. There is a sound of "eternal note of sadness"ÃÂ within the waves on Dover beach. The speaker brings a tone of "human misery"ÃÂ and an internal battle within oneself. The speaker feels as there is a battle "of granting pebbles which the waves draw back and fling"ÃÂ against the shore. He now only hears a "melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,"ÃÂ which seems that the speaker is questioning his own faith.
The themes that are threaded within these poems weave themselves about a certain love whether the love of tangible items or that of a precious lover. Arrogance and possessions destroy life while trying to capture it, prove true in "My Last Duchess."ÃÂ The duke thought his wife as a possession and she could never be treated as his equal. Browning alludes to Greek mythology while making the comparison of how the duke tamed his wife like Neptune and the sea-horse; "Notice Neptune, though /Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity / Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze foe me!"ÃÂ Where possessions overpower love in "My Last Duchess"ÃÂ it contrasts with "Dover Beach"ÃÂ showing that nothing is certain but true love. The love the speaker has towards his lover is their only defense against the corrupting industrial world. He claims that even the ancients knew about the endless cycle of human despair and says that "Sophocles long ago/ Heard it on the Aegean, and brought/ into his mind that turbid ebb and flow / of human misery."ÃÂ Browning and Arnold poems contradict in personality and themes, where Browning enforces possessions above all and Arnold seeks love and religion because those are the only things that have certainty. The dramatic monologue style that is present in both poems has been molded into pieces of artwork that is as different as night and day.