Tuesday, October 5, 2010

DUE TOMORROW take home test on "My Last Duchess"

Answer and respond to five of the following:
Your answers should be written as direct responses; however, I  do expect you to write fully developed paragraphs, in which you substantiate what you say by making direct reference to the poem, or by using quotations.   For the creative pieces (1 and 3) feel  free to use your imagination.  These two pieces however, do require thoughtful creative writing that relates to the text.
1. Write the report the envoy delivers to the count, concerning the prospective marriage of the count's  daughter to the Duke of Ferrara.
2. Why, in your opinion, does the Duke of Ferrara show the count's emissary the picture of his last duchess, and say to him what he says? (Remember they are in midst of negotiating the dowry and the marriage terms  to his next duchess.)
3. Have the last duchess respond in detail to her husband's words, attitudes, and actions. Give her p.o.v.
4. Write about the poem's structure, narrative development, and literary devices.
5. Of what importance is the statue of Neptune taming a seahorse at the end of the poem?
6. How does or doesn't Browning succeed in have us sympathize with a character as objectionable as the duke? Explain.
7. Discuss the use of irony in this poem.
8. Explain how the Duke's attitudes towards art and artists as revealed in the poem reveal his materialism, aristocratic hauteur, and insecurity.
9. Discuss three contradictory characteristics Browning reveals in the Duke, and show how each quality or characteristic is revealed.
10. With specific reference to the poem, formulate a statement of theme or poetic intention. What truth(s) about human nature does the poem communicate?


  1. would you like us to write it on a piece of paper & hand it in tomorrow in class or send it to you through your email?

  2. On several pieces of paper, or email your work to me at abalgley@gmail.com - okay?

  3. Balgley these questions are very confusing, I'm having serious trouble.

  4. The response to each question much be a paragraph longer than fourteen lines?

  5. this is really really hard.Its really hard to answer these questions if i do not understand the poem.

  6. Who is speaking? To whom is he speaking? Why is he addressing this man? Who does this man represent? What is he telling this man (the envoy)? What did the last duchess do that angered the duke? What do you think or his reactions to his wife's behavior? What did the duke do in response? What sort of person is this duke? TIFFANY, AS YOU REREAD THIS POEM KEEP THESE QUESTIONS IN MIND.

  7. Brittany, I reworded a few things. I hope you now understand what is expected of you.

  8. Balgey, I seriously don't understand these questions.

  9. Hmm Bagley.. sounds like a challenge! I will try!!!


  11. OMG..! I am sooo Lost.. I've been rereading these questions and poem like for 2 hours now.. Balgley, What should I do? I don't understand anything at all.. Ugh. =(

  12. Okay guys, let's discuss it in class - with silence as you, your classmates and I speak.
    I expect there to be serious and intense LISTENING from now on.