"How does Browning make the story of 'My Last Duchess' effective and interesting? Include poetic techniques and narrative elements. "Please help! I'm having huge difficulties with Lit. I keep on...

"How does Browning make the story of 'My Last Duchess' effective and interesting? Include poetic techniques and narrative elements. "

Please help! I'm having huge difficulties with Lit. I keep on getting 9/20 and theonly thing my teacher tells me is to 'try harder'.

I can't understand what poetic skills I have to talk about and I cant find any elements of a narrative either.

Asked on by simiko

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The main narrative effect that makes the poem interesting has to do with how Browning uses the structure of the dramatic monologue to sustain suspense. Although the Duke appears a genial host, showing off an art collection, we gradually get a sense that there was something amiss with his relationship to his dead wife (did he kill her? have her killed?) and that the new wife may fare no better.

The main poetic techniques Browning uses are the figures of understatement and juxtaposition. On a level of sound, the enjambment gives a casual, almost conversation, tone to the couplets.

Sources:

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