3 Oct 2011

Literary review - Robert Browning's 'My Last Duchess'

My Last Duchess - A Victorian depiction of Italian Renaissance, and it's relationship with the male and female. The speaker is possessed my power, status and greed, and 'commands' ("I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together") the execution of his beautiful wife - objectified as a painting behind a curtain that only her husband controls ("since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I). The perverted love is fascinating - as is the dramatic monologue form - with my love of the 19th century 'My Last Duchess' (and Porphyria's Lover alike) was an interesting read. However I still have one question - why does the Duke tell the emissary (who has come to negotiate the Duke's next marriage) about his role in the cruel demise of the 'last' duchess?

Does art have a moral component, or is it merely an aesthetic exercise? 

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