My Last Duchess Double Standards Essay

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Robert Browning’s poem “My Last Duchess” is a story of many emotions, including jealousy, paranoia, pride, and selfishness. It is also an account of how double standards can be found at this time in history and sometimes even in today’s society. Poems like this one can travel through time and be meaningful many years after they are originally written. In a nut shell, “My Last Duchess” is the recounting of a Duke and his wife, with whose actions he was not pleased with. Her seemingly innocent actions lead to her untimely demise. Browning uses irony to show how double standards and such emotions as mentioned before can be seen as ridiculous and even malicious by an outsider but not to someone who is directly involved with the situation. First,…show more content…
Not only is there a double standard in their society, but also a blindness to the true need for mental help. The Duke is obviously not sane, but continues to hold a place of power and respect. This is shown by his ability to recount his actions, and then proceed to change the subject to a statue of “…Neptune, though,/ Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,/ Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze…” (54-56). The Duke even continues to his dinner party without a hint of a guilty conscious. In today’s society, people like the Duke would be in jail and possible put to death, but instead, the Duchess who did no wrong is the one who is given the death sentence. It can be seen that Browning uses irony to show that while the Duke sees his actions as justified and society may turn a blind eye, the Duke’s guest is disturbed by the encounter. Though the Duke thinks that everyone will see his malicious acts as acceptable, this is not so. The guest could represent how the world is changing during Browning’s time, but just not quite fast enough. Though people know such actions are wrong, a blind eye is still turned. The guest feels the injustice but chooses to continue with the visit in a normal

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