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Analysis of Robert Brownings My Last Duchess Robert Brownings poem My Last Duchess is a poem that represents and holds true to many of the Pre-Raphaelite ideals It is comprised of rhyming pentameter lines The lines do not make use of end-stops but rather they use enjambment which is that sentences do not necessarily conclude at the end of the lines This results in the rhymes not creating a sense of closure when the end of the lines come but to a certain extent keep a subtle driving force behind the Dukes compulsive revelations The Duke is quite a performer In his speech he mimics others voices creates hypothetical situations and uses the force of his own personality to make horrifying information seem merely colorful even laughable The poem is based loosely on historical events which involve Alfonso the Duke of Ferrara who lived in the 16th century This is an important part of the poem because it is during the time of the Italian Renaissance which to Browning as well as the Pre-Raphaelites held a particular fascination for them This period of time represented to them the flowering of the aesthetic and the human alongside or in some cases in the place of the religious and the moral It is in this temporal setting that Browning is allowed to explore sex violence and aesthetics as all entangled complicating and confusing each other An example of this is Brownings use of such lush language which contradict the fact that the Duchess was actually punished for her natural sexuality The Dukes ranting and ravings try to suggest that the supposed transgressions of the Duchess are only in his mind Many Victorians saw sin everywhere around them and a lot of the Pre-Raphaelite work deals with sin especially the sin of un-virtuous woman The painting of the Duchess that the Duke describes sounds very similar to paintings by Pre-Raphaelites like William Holman Hunts The Lady of
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