Robert Browning: Poems

Exploring Love and Its Corruption: My Last Duchess, Andrea Del Sarto & Two in the Campagna 12th Grade

In both My Last Duchess and Andrea del Sarto, Robert Browning explores the notions of love and its capacity to corrupt an individual’s character and potential through his signature diegetic form; the dramatic monologue. While the form of these two poems is based around an implied audience, the primary agent and core subject matter is the narrator, rather than the subjects they speak on. The form itself requires that the reader complete the dramatic scene from within, through the use of inference and imagination, using the clues provided by Browning’s narrators in regard to their obsessions and preoccupations. In a differing manner, Two in the Campagna varies in metrical poetic structure, and consists mainly of iambs, but as this consistency disintegrates, a parallel symbolism is created, as the ideas and love of the narrator, as well as the language required to express them, are each identified as unobtainable.

Variant perceptions and attitudes regarding the nature of loyalty and jealousy within relational dynamics are explored in both My Last Duchess and Andrea Del Sarto. The overwhelming jealousy and possessive nature of the narrator (the Duke) in My Last Duchess is adumbrated within the title of the poem, with the possessive...

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