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Duchess Essay Topics & Paper Examples

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

In poem My Last Duchess, Robert Browning wants his readers to understand the conflict of art and morality. In the poem, the narrator talks about his dead wife, using eloquent words as though his word itself is a painting, but beneath his beautiful words, he tells a story of why and how he killed his wife, “I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together” (Browning 2). He killed his wife because, she doesn’t appreciate him as much as he would like her to appreciate him, “as if she ranked/ My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name/ With anybody’s gift” (Browning 2). The significance of Browning’s title to the theme of the poem is the engagement of art and morality of the…

The world according to the Duchess

This paper attempts to explore and analyze how the use of animal imagery in John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi brings out the themes and exposes the persona of characters like Duke Ferdinand, the Cardinal and their accomplice Bosola. The animal imagery gives natural expression to the basic (animal) instincts that dominate the play from beginning to the end. The world according to the Duchess is a “tedious theater”, but to Ferdinand, the abject villain, it is “but a dog-kennel. The most violent criminal is named Bosola which literally means “bloody beast”. He dies after murdering the major characters. To justify his strangling of the Duchess, he calls her “a box of worm-seeds” (4. 2. 120) mocking her illegitimate children….