posted by jlew
Analyze Robert Browning's poem,"My Last Duchess" using the criteria for "good poetry" set forth by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Aurora Leigh.
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If we use the criteria established by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her poem Aurora Leigh as a basis for judgment, I think that we should consider husband Robert Browning's My Last Duchess to be an example of “good” poetry. The language in My Last Duchess is fairly straightforward and lacking any classical allusions. The events and ideas in the poem are things that could easily happen in real life (and may very well); there is no hint of the fantastic or mythological. There are no larger-than-life heroic escapades performed by long gone titanic figures. The duke's villainy is a very self-indulgent, commonplace kind, made, I think, scarier and more immediate by his angry self-righteousness and the matter-of-fact way he talks about what he has done. Events do not have to be set in ancient times; during the Brownings' lifetimes Europe was still full of titled nobility who negotiated their marriages very much like the negotiation indicated by the poems monologue.
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