'Dramatic monologue between My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover?' - Was one mark off 100% on this one

Essay by moonbeamswiftHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2004

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'The art of the dramatic monologue is to create a character who reveals himself in what he has to say.' How far do you agree with this statement in terms of the two Robert Browning poems you are studying: My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover?'

In this essay I will attempt to compare and contrast Browning's My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover. Both poems deal with the themes of 'Obsessive and Possessive Love', which are displayed in contrasting ways. Dramatic Monologue will be the basis of this essay. I will attempt to see if the characters in each poem "creates a character who reveals himself in what he has to say". To be a dramatic monologue, the poem must have a recognised speaker and an implicit listener. The reader usually perceives what the orator is not saying by reading between what he actually does say.

Porphyria's Lover is a monologue spoken by the mysterious 'Lover'.

It is about a possessive lover who kills the woman he loves so that her love for him is eternal and enshrined forever. The idea of this is slightly absurd and makes us wonder if he is in fact somewhat insane. My Last Duchess is also a monologue but told by the Duke. He is telling the servant of his future wife of his previous spouse. We learn towards the end of the true demise of the Duchess and how his love for her was fuelled by jealousy. Both also speak to an unseen audience. We know the Duke is speaking to a servant, however, to whom the 'Lover' is speaking to is unknown.

The title 'My Last Duchess' already implies as to what deeds the Duke has committed. 'My' implies possessiveness, or the Dukes will to own this woman. 'Last' can be...