Strong Feelings in Browning's 'My Last Duchess' Essay

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Strong feelings exist in every age and were as pertinent in the 19th century and to the Elizabethans as they are to modern day readers. Despite the fact language has evolved, while most plays are not written in blank verse, Shakespeare’s lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter express feelings as much now as they would then. Both playwright and poet depict strong feelings through form, dramatic devices and linguistic features. The paranoia of the Duke of Ferrara and the vengeance expressed by the Courtier contribute to the multifaceted theme of strong feelings. This theme is continued in Romeo and Juliet with love between the two characters but hatred between the Capulet and Montague families. This essay will explore how strong feelings are presented in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess’ and ‘The Laboratory’. Varied examples of strong feelings are present in both of Browning’s poems by the effective use of a persona which allows us to hear the perspective of the character. In “My Last Duchess”, by speaking in the first person narrative as the Duke of Ferrara, a dramatic monologue more expected of a play, also seen in Romeo and Juliet, is delivered. Along with the frequent use of rhyming couplets and enjambment, this makes it clear that the Duke was a suspicious and dominant man to his dead wife and also shows his control. The first evidence in the poem to support this is “Will’t please you sit and look at her?” and also “Sir, twas not her husband’s presence only, called that spot of joy into the Duchess’ cheek!” Both are said in reference to his wife to the Count’s envoy. These are effective as we are presented with the subjective viewpoint of the Duke. Like Shakespeare, Browning wrote plays as well as poetry which is evident as we see how he combined the techniques of play writing and poetry. Again, as the Duke talks about the Duchess

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