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Word Count: 2,321
Amongst the three love poems examined in this essay the theme of male or female power in relationships pervades throughout The views of the speakers are expressed and defined through literary and poetic techniques This gives the reader an insight into the speakers problems and dissatisfaction of a relationship due to an imbalance of power However there are dissimilarities between the poems - for example where in La Belle Dame Sans Merci the female displays supernatural power and dominance over a knight the Duke in My Last Duchess desires psychological power over his Duchess The poem My Last Duchess is a dramatic monologue written by Robert Browning coming from the Duke of Ferrara In the poem he displays his megalomaniac tendencies towards his late wife and how he feels his title symbolises his power over her We also learn how he doesnt want his wife for love but to be able to exhibit her and show her off and enforce psychological power over The Duke calls her My Last Duchess here the use of the possessive pronoun indicates to the reader how he feels his wife belongs to him This implies that the Duke has an authoritative and almost overbearing character as he thinks of his wife more as an object which he owns rather than a person The Duke proves his power even further by saying Notice Neptune though Taming a sea horse Here he relates himself to Neptune the god of the seas showing how he believes himself to be god-like Also the Duke believes himself to be above the level of common people saying he would never stoop down to their level From this we can presume the Duke is afraid of losing his power and would rather hold his head up high and suffer for it rather than stoop The use of this word indicates how the Duke is in a state of mind where he sees himself
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