Comparing The Laboratory and My Last Dutchess

The name of the first poem that I am going to introduce is, The Laboratory, written by the poet, Robert Browning. The poem is a monologue, I know this because of the fact that the poem is written from a personal view. The poem is about a lady thats producing a poison to murder her husbands mistress. We don’t know whether the plan is successful or not. The name of the second poem that I am going to introduce is, My Last Duchess, written again by the same poet, Robert Browning. This poem is also a monologue as this poem is also written from a personal view.

In this poem the poet gets married to a lady buh she smiles at everything the same way that she smiles at him. He gets angry and he asks a painter to paint a picture of her. But in the picture shes smiling too. So he gets her killed so she can’t smile no more. In The Laboratory the themes are poisons, paranoia and jelousy. The poem is written from a females view. It is basically about her husband cheating on her, and they know that she knows and are purposely hurting her. So, she wants to poison the mistress. In My Last Duchess, the theme might be the possessiveness of the duke, his wife and the position of his status.

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This poem is written from a males view. He loves his lady very much but gets jelous everytime she smiles at someone, because she uses the same smile that she uses when she smiles at him. Then someone paints a picture of her and in the picture she’s smiling. So he kills her so she can’t ever smile again. In The Laboratory, as I read it the pictures that come to my mind is, of a dark laboratory with many different potions everywhere. An old chemist helping the speaker make the poison, and her speak her story as she makes the poem.

She describes her feelings to a point where you know exactly how she feels as shes doing what shes doing. In My Last Duchess, the pictures that come to mind as i read the poem is. A man looking at the painting of his wife that he just murdered and looking at her smile. You can see the power that the duke uses to kill wife and to control people. In The Laboratory the layout is stanzas, its written out in short paragraphs which are only 4 lines long each. In My Last Duchess the tone used is conversational tone, the language used is functioned to direct, guide and command the listener.

The language which is used is quite blunt – he deliberately belittles the things she enjoyed. He refers to the sun setting in plain almost mocking terms when he says: “Dropping of daylight” He refers to her horse as the “mule” which conveniently rhyms with “fool” in line 28. In The Laboratory the rhyme scheme is AABB. It rhymes when read aloud because its couplets. “NOW that I, tying thy glass mask tightly, May gaze thro’ these faint smokes curling whitely, As thou pliest thy trade in this devil’s-smithy – Which is the poison to poison her, prithee? ”

In My Last Duchess the rhythm is fast, quite urgent movement used from point to point. It doesn’t dwell or expand at length on anything. It is written as a continuous piece, its not broken into different stanzas theres an use of regular rhyme and rhythm. The rhyme scheme is AABB. “That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive, I call That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. ”

In The Laboratory the choice of words were thought about carefully as the poet described everything and used a powerful vocabulary. Quick – is it finished? The colour’s too grim! Why not soft like the phial’s, enticing and dim? ” In My Last Duchess the language pattern used is convoluted syntax – use of colons to add important detail to point and next to short abrupt sentences. The sound of the poem and use of words is stratagies of argument/persuasion – quoting other people, or at least speculating on their thoughts – asking rhetorical questions, the poet groups words to achieve a desired effect of the use of enjambment – his thoughts are not completed within one line, instead they carry on to the next lines.

The conclusion of The Laboratory is what the poet is trying to communicate with the reader about, and in this poem it would be about the feelings that the poet is feeling while writing the poem. The language he uses is effective because. The conclusion of My Last Duchess is that he used a dramatic monologue and we get the impression that he is someone who is used to speaking at great length, it reflects his arrogance. Repition is used in some words for example; “spot of joy” , “stoop”, “thanked” Words like, ”lessoned” and ”taming” give us an insight into wat he expected of her.