Was does the Duke’s hatred of his late wife say about his character?

The Duke plays on the historical events surrounding the death of Alfonso, the Duke of Ferrara’s late wife in the 16th century. The Duke is presented during a time surrounding the Italian Renaissance and represents the wealthy people in Victorian society. During the Renaissance, wealthy and influential people exercised absolute power and unfortunately many of them, like the Duke, were morally corrupt. Like other Victorians that Browning may have encountered, the Duke sees sin lurking in every corner. The Duke’s wife, who represents a stark contrast to the character of the Duke, is presented as this bright light who was always happy and saw joy in everything she encountered. The Duke is angry because his wife is kind to everyone and always greets them with a smile. He believes these manifestations of her natural sexuality and charm to be an indication that she favors other men besides himself. This point in the poem is the where we see a turn from admiration of his wife to a complaint of her past actions and we get a look into the character of the Duke. We are told the single most important quality of a dramatic monologue is what the speaker reveals about himself or herself by their own words but because we only hear the musing of the Duke we must discover the pieces of the story ourselves. Through his examples of how he hates how his wife interacts with other we see his true nature. The Duke is a cruel, and jealous person who wishes to fix his wife’s female sexuality and mold her behavior. The most striking example of the Duke’s jealousy occurs in line 32-34 when he says she thanked other men “as if she ranked my gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name with anybody’s gift.” We how truly conceited the Duke is about his place in society and how angry he is that he is being treated just like anyone else by his wife. The Duke feels he is not being given the respect he deserves for simply being the Duke and we really see his sense of superiority towards those around him. This highlights two other key aspects of the Dukes character, his pride and arrogance. The Duke says that his wife needs to be “

We are told the single most important quality of a dramatic monolog is what the speaker reveals about himself or herself by their own words but because we only hear the musing of the Duke we must discover the pieces of the story ourselves. Through his examples of how he hates how his wife interacts with others, we see his true nature. The Duke is a cruel, and jealous person who wishes to fix his wife’s female sexuality and mold her behavior. The most striking example of the Duke’s jealousy occurs in line 32-34 when he says she thanked other men “as if she ranked my gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name with anybody’s gift.” We how truly conceited the Duke is about his place in society and how angry he is that he is being treated just like anyone else by his wife. The Duke feels he is not being given the respect he deserves for simply being the Duke and we really see his sense of superiority towards those around him. This highlights two other key aspects of the Duke’s character, his pride and arrogance. The Duke says that his wife needs to be “lessoned” however he then says something that can be seen as the single most important thing he says as a revelation of his character in lines 42 and 43. He states “E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose never to stoop.” This shows just how deep the Duke’s superiority goes and indeed rather than stoop to her level the story of his wife culminates in him stating he indirectly had her killed. Overcome with pride and jealousy he chose to kill her rather than deal with her imperfections.The struggle to mold people’s behavior to become a sophisticated and dignified member of society was a popular theme in Victorian society. However, through the poem we see that the Duke’s character and reasoning behind his wife killing goes much deeper than that. The way the poem is written makes us feel a sense of struggle, like he is carefully choosing what to say and feel him trying rein in his feelings for fear he may lose all control at any moment. In a very colorful way that masks the cruelty behind his words the Duke reveals his character to the audience and I get a feeling that he is a very insecure, unstable man who is full of jealousy. This jealousy is fueled by his complete superiority and arrogance and results in a very cruel man killing his wife to find another.

The struggle to mold people’s behavior to become a sophisticated and dignified member of society was a popular theme in Victorian society. However, through the poem, we see that the Duke’s character and reasoning behind his wife killing goes much deeper than that. The way the poem is written makes us feel a sense of struggle like he is carefully choosing what to say and feel him trying rein in his feelings for fear he may lose all control at any moment. In a very colorful way that masks the cruelty behind his words, the Duke reveals his character to the audience and I get a feeling that he is a very insecure, unstable man who is full of jealousy. This jealousy is fueled by his complete superiority and arrogance and results in a very cruel man killing his wife to find another.

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