The two characters in these two poems have a certain attitude towards women, which is that they both see women as objects but in different ways. The Duke in "My Last Duchess" is an arrogant, disrespectful man, who cares more about status and wealth then love. He is a megalomaniac, who is jealous about his ex-wife not giving only him her attention. The speaker in "To His Coy Mistress" seems like a respectful man, who is articulate, this is important because it is his main strength which he uses to lure her to him. He uses his skill to flatter her, but we then learn that he only wants her for pleasure rather than love; he puts up a false persona of love as another technique to lure her.
H on the other hand is a woman's interpretation of a 19th century fictional character and how this character is left with feelings of violent hatred after being let down in marriage by her fiancé who has wed her to gain some of her riches. The theme of the poem is violent and confrontation but does compare and contrast with PL with the gothic nature. These four dramatic monologues do vary in storyline and tone however he same themes are made apparent in all of them and is what gives these poems a link and comparisons. Desire, death, domination and obsession as well as the balance of control between men and women over the past four hundred years are all explores. In Shakespeare's play "Much Ado about Nothing" we are also resented with these evident themes through two very different kinds of women with diametrically opposed attitudes to love and marriage.
The duchess is objectified in the poem. Instead of seeing her innate virtuous and pious characteristics, the duke observes only the aesthetical beauty of his wife in a painting after her death. This notion is reinforced by enjambment in the quote: ‘I call/ That piece a wonder, now…’ The words ‘that piece’ are a pun which is used to describe the painting as well as the duchess herself. The underlying concept here is that in Victorian society women were regarded as trophy possessions and your wife had to be presentable as she reflected your reputation. The duke despises his wife’s great kindness and humility towards other people and is enraged that she did not show the same sort of devotion towards him.
The use of the word ‘inspecting’ shows the idea of power from the male gaze as the Marquis is praising himself for what he has ‘achieved’ for his wife. The lack of punctuation could show that she feels under pressure and intimidated by the Marquis, as though she is being judged and is nervous she isn’t good enough for her new husband which again shows that he possess and has the ability to control her not only physically but also mentally as she is seeing herself as a piece of ‘horseflesh.’ Another feminist issue in ‘The Bloody Chamber’ is the force of a sexual relationship with the Marquis in the story. Usually sexual relations are built around a women’s objectification, however in one section of the story the Marquis instigates the relation and forms the idea based on his own desires “I stammered foolishly: we’ve not taken luncheon yet; and, besides, it is broad day light… ‘All the better to see you’” The breakup of the sentence could represent a break down in her mental state and
Browning contrasts the Duke’s representation of the duchess with the factual representation emphasising the Duke’s manic state and causing the audience to strongly oppose the duke as a person. Men feel the need to retain their pride in relationships which reflects the social attitudes and patriarchal values of the Victorian Era. The Victorian Era was a time of a changing social attitudes and people felt insecure and questioned their dominance with an increased male ego. This is evident in Browning’s portrayal of the Duke in “My Last Duchess”. Browning contrasts the happiness of the duchess with by providing imagery of nature, “Bough of cherries” and “orchard” with the dark, manic mind of the duke.
For example men like Simon Jordan, Thomas Kinnear James McDermott, and Mr. Marks deliberately took advantage of woman. Furthermore, Atwood, explores the relationship each of these men, had with woman in Alias Grace. Lastly, their actions defined woman as nothing more than a sexual object. Undoubtedly, the men in Alias Grace were insensitive towards woman, especially when it came to sex. For example when Simon Jordan first encountered with Rachel Humphrey, his landlady hid did not think much of her since she was a supposed widow.
It could also lead to the husband being overwhelmed with feelings of jealousy and killing the wife to restore his honour as seen in Othello. Therefore, it can be said that men’s identity was built partly on honour and being able to command his wife’s faithfulness. It can be said that the different relationships between men and women influenced how the men viewed women. However, in almost all cases, women were viewed as property and valuable objects to boost men’s wealth, position in society or to upkeep men’s position. For the most part, women were also viewed as having a power that threatened men’s reputation.
Even though, women have become more independent, they still want to feel love of a man as it is a necessity. As the play proceeds, Blanche is not the only one to depend on men for attention, love interests and socio-economic progress. Her sister Stella is heavily restrained by her husband Stanley Kowalski. This dependence promotes the abuse of women both verbally and physically. When Stanley beats Stella and she forgives him because she has nowhere else to turn and has the fear of being alone.
The shared opinion by the men on the ranch is that they think ‘Curley’s married… a tart’ and that she is ‘giving men the eye’. Steinbeck uses this technique to create a biased opinion and set up the thoughts that men had of women in those days, calling her a ‘tart’ makes the reader think that she is unfaithful or prone to be, causing a disliking towards her. However given the fact that this is coming from gossip the reader realises it may be slightly exaggerated. Curley’s ‘glove fulla Vaseline’ make us pity Curley’s wife as it objectifies her as nothing but a sexual property to someone, which links in with her only ever being referred to as ‘Curley’s wife’ showing us that she is nothing but Curley’s property as she remains nameless throughout the whole novel. Even though we see a sense of power with Curley, we are then brought to the idea that she is ‘giving men the eye’ which makes us dislike her for we assume then that she is being unfaithful and portraying her as a floozy.
This article takes a different approach speculating that the duchess had to be unfaithful due to her husband’s impotence. The author goes on to point out specific lines within the poem that suggest this as being plausible. Gardner gives the explanation for another wife as being to increase the Duke’s wealth from his new wife’s dowry. I particularly like the fact that this author call the Duke a sociopath that loves to horrify others in order to feed his ego. I’m not quite convinced but other views interest me so I believe this article could be helpful in my paper.