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Robert Browning's Poem "My Last Duchess".

781 words - 3 pages

Picture FrameBill Cosby once said, "It's not a lack of love, but a lack of trust that makes an unhappy marriage." Would a man kill his wife if he didn't trust her? Narrating his own tale of possessiveness, jealousy, and murder, the husband in Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess" unintentionally justifies his dead wife's actions.The husband in Browning's poem considered his most prized possession to be his wife. Like household objects the husband considered his wife to be no less then just an entity. In his opening statements the husband introduces his dead wife in a painting he had made to be placed on his mantle. The husband obviously felt that just like a chair or a table, he had every right to the painting and the person inside. Being controlled by her husband had impacted a lot of his wife's actions. She was told by him how to behave and even in the end not to smile at all. Another factor that made the husband tighten his hold on his wife was his "gift of a nine-hundred-year-old name" which he felt was considered the same to his wife like everyone else's gift. The husband felt that his name wasn't valued to her, as greatly as it was to him. Finally, one thing that showed his attitude toward his wife was when he pointed out a bronze statue, which showed a sea god capturing a storm. Not only does it show's he's wealthy, but the fact that he considers himself a god being able to tame anything, in this case his wife. His perception toward his wife, being merely just an object in his house like a statue or a painting, caused him to dominate his wife. When he felt that he couldn't control her actions, he murdered her.There are many causes for the husband to be possessive. One cause was the fact that his wife received open advances from other men, and instead ignoring them which he felt she was supposed to, she openly acknowledged them. The wife was open to every man's responses, which in return caused her husband to be more jealous. By her reactions to the men, the husband felt threatened of his wife's attitude toward the marriage. Another key was the idea that he believed "she had/ A heart...too soon made glad by/ Too easily...

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