Victorian Era: “My Last Duchess” By Robert Browning

The Victorian Era overall in my opinion was in parts confusing but very interesting after doing my research. I also believe that my interpretation could be different than other classmates because sadly this was not something we went over together. In “My Last Duchess” the story was definitely intriguing, but what I would like to get into first is the overall form in his writing. In my past classes in the past semesters we talked a lot about enjambment. Enjabments are sentences and other grammatical sections that do not completely end at the end of lines. Along with it rhyming in pentameter the use of enjabments is frequent throughout “My Last Duchess”. The rhyme scheme itself in my mind isn’t really fluent and is used in a much different way due to the enjabments. The rhyme scheme gives more of a dramatic force behind the Duke’s memories of his last duchess. 

The Duke as a character has a way of making horrible topics seem rather happier than they should be in his delivery. It also looks like he is talking to an audience but the audience itself is never really shown to be present in the story. We are also hinted at the fact that the Duke is not mentally healthy. The ravings of the Duke suggest to us as the reader that most of his transgressions took place only in his head. I felt that I had to put pieces of this story together myself to get the full effect which was pretty fun, but time consuming. Lastly, I have gotten a lot of mixed feelings about this poem and age of writing because it is not very straight forward. For example should the poem be about the Duchess’ fate or the beauty of the language and how dramatically powerful it develops? I chose this because I would love to hear other views or feelings readers got to compare to my own mixed feelings about the Victorian Age. 

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