Compare Browning's poems "My Last Duchess" and "Laboratory."

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In the poem, "My Last Duchess ," Browning creates a narrator who conveys the distinct displeasure he feels at the perceived infidelities of his wife. There is some question as to the sanity of the narrator as he can calmly talk about the beautiful picture of his wife, then transition into...

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In the poem, "My Last Duchess," Browning creates a narrator who conveys the distinct displeasure he feels at the perceived infidelities of his wife. There is some question as to the sanity of the narrator as he can calmly talk about the beautiful picture of his wife, then transition into tales of her betrayal, and then calmly explain that he was not willing to compromise so he gave the words to have her killed, all the while keeping the next duchess waiting downstairs. 

With the poem, "The Laboratory," there is little doubt that the narrator is crazy. We, as readers, can almost see his hunched shoulders and intense concentration as he ponders what poison will be best to use when killing his wife. As readers, we still don't know if the indiscretions were real, but we have absolutely no doubt how the wife was killed--by his own hand.

Both husbands are angry and bitter, but we get the feeling that the husband in "The Laboratory" is hurt more by the emotional betrayal. While the husband in "Last Duchess" is more angry at the insult of the betrayal.

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