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Robert Browning “My Last Duchess” “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed’s Church”

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Presentation on theme: "Robert Browning “My Last Duchess” “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed’s Church”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Robert Browning “My Last Duchess” “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed’s Church”

2 Queen Victoria Victorian: “The adjective Victorian refers to British literary works which were written … during (or shortly before or after) the era of Queen Victoria ( ). The adjective is also used to describe the code of morality which was believed to be predominant during her reign.”

3 Robert Browning ( ) Son of a bank clerk. Major figure in Victorian literary circles (Dickens, Hunt, etc.). Married another famous poet, the invalid Elizabeth Barrett in Life in Florence, Italy.

4 The Brownings in Florence Elizabeth Barrett Browning

5 Casa Guidi

6 Critical Term Dramatic monologue: A type of poem associated with Robert Browning in which a speaker unintentionally reveals aspects of his character in conversation with a (silent) listener. I’m a jerk.

7 “My Last Duchess” Judging by her description in ll. 15 ff., what kind of woman was this Duchess? In lines 50 ff. we learn that the speaker is in the process of negotiating another marriage (cf. dowry, line 51). What does this dramatic monologue unintentionally reveal about the speaker? How would you describe his relationship with his wife? Some believe that the Duchess in this poem is based on Lucrezia (di Cosimo) de' Medici, a wealthy Italian woman who suddently died at the age of 17 and is rumored to have been poisoned. Is there any hint of foul play in this poem? Portrait of Lucrezia (di Cosimo) de' Medici by Agnolo Bronzino. UU in Italy connection: look for the Medici coat of arms in Rome and Florence. First one to spot one gets a Euro from me!

8 “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church” Review “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church” and try to find three examples in which the Bishop reveals his excessive worldliness.

9 Madonna of the Yarnwinder, Leonardo da Vinci, 1501

10 (Left) The tomb of Giuliano de' Medici by Michelangelo (20 feet 8 inches x 13 feet 9 inches) is made from marble and is located inside the Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo, Florence. Tomb of Bishop Marius Ambrose Capello (Below) after 1676 Black, red and white marble; O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp

11 Santa Prassede (“Saint Praxed’s”), Rome After looking at the slides of St. Praxed’s church, consider how viewing the church affects your interpretation of this poem.

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14 Robert Browning “My Last Duchess” “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed’s Church”


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