Instead, readers can imagine a specific setting and detect action and reaction based on the hints given within the verse. Will't please you sit and look at her? The generosity and spontaneity of the humanitarian Duchess were quite unacceptable to the Duke, who here becomes the Victorian conventionalist. Herein may be read also the implicit hint by Browning that life is greater than art. But to understand the deadliness of the Duke's powerhouse combo of narcissism and misogyny, the reader must delve deeply into this dramatic monologue, paying close attention to both what is said as well as unsaid. We'll meet The company below, then. This is a curious thing to say. This sounded as if men often gave her gifts and it made the Duke furious because he thought that men were attracted to her.
She thanked men, — good! The Duke is, in fact, neither dull nor shrewd to perfection. The duke is a symbol of tyranny and the demoniac male not only in Renaissance Italy, but in all societies of all times and place. The Duke then invites his listener to return downstairs with him. In the same way that the age of his name gives it credence, so does he seem fit with a life of repeated gestures, one of which he is ready to make again with the count's daughter. He brings the man back downstairs with him, and as they walk, he points out bronze statue that was made especially for him.
The frequent use of caesura throughout the poem emphasize the duke's control over the conversation. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? He asks his listener to sit and look at the life sized painting of her. Most Victorian poets were highly experimental and, with the exception of , not so highly popular; people kept reading the now-classic Romantic poets, like and , instead of tuning in to the new developments in poetry. My favour at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace—all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least. Browning's purpose in creating the Duke is to make a statement about the comparative values of sophistication and naturalness. Why would he expect that his presence alone, and nothing else, would bring joy to her face? To some extent, the duke's amorality can be understood in terms of aristocracy.
He imagines that probably the monk-painter hinted at the gown excessively covering the wrist of the Duchess or that the artist remarked that his art could never recapture the delicate beauty of the Duchess and the Duchess thought that she must respond with cheerful courtesy. But the themes in play here are way more interesting than the basic setup. He robbed her of her joy with his controlling attitude toward her. We'll meet The company below, then. In terms of meter, Browning represents the duke's incessant control of story by using a regular meter but also enjambment where the phrases do not end at the close of a line. And that reminds us of another movie from the early 90s —.
My favour at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace—all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least. Structure of the poem The poem is written in free verse. At least, those are the years when was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Choose Poetry online for the greatest poems by the most famous poets. Who'd stoop to blame This sort of trifling? He was annoyed that she liked everything that she looked at. The duke's life seems to be made of repeated gestures.
He wanted to be the only person, the only object of her affection. He feels that communication with his own wife is beneath his class. And indeed, the question of money is revealed at the end in a way that colors the entire poem. The enjambment works against the otherwise orderly meter to remind us that the duke will control his world, including the rhyme scheme of his monologue. Will't please you sit and look at her? The duke remains enamored with the woman he has had killed, though his affection now rests on a representation of her. I call That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
It is important to realise how times have changed. Yet, perhaps Browning was observing fellow members of when he crafted the devious lines of Duke Ferrera. The Duke prefers his wife as a work of art line two as she causes him less stress that way. The poem ends with the duke still talking about himself as a great man and a lover of art. She was married at fourteen and dead by seventeen.
Objectively, it's easy to identify him as a monster, since he had his wife murdered for what comes across as fairly innocuous crimes. The Duke seems happier with a painting of her because he can control who gets to look at the joy in her face. So you can visualize the Duchess as or as , if you like. The first wife of Ferrara, Lucrezia, mysteriously died in 1561 with many speculations afterwards that it was supposedly Ferrara who murdered her. There she stands As if alive.
Likewise, his casual reference to Neptune reveals the unfathomable power he relishes over his unfortunate wife. This is Browning's chance to reveal through the dramatic contrast the heartlessness of the Duke. This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. The duke is so obsessed with himself that he didn't like the way the duchess treat him. The historical background is not essential, but adds to our understanding of the poem. There she stands As if alive.