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Compare and contrast the ways in which different views of love are portrayed in “Remember” and “My Last Duchess” Essay

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    Both poems “Remember” and “My Last Duchess” seek to convey a view of love. However they are different, to an extent it is the reader who may wonder if the writers are writing about the same thing. Love is always thought of as selfless and pure. This is true in the poem “Remember” by Christina Rosetti, however untrue in the poem “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning. In the first poem “Remember” it is about how she wants to be remembered and at this time her lover is alive, whilst in the other poem the lover is dead and he is just having her story told.

    The first poem “Remember” is a sonnet. This sonnet is a traditional love poem and has 14 lines. The first 8 lines are of a selfish view and the other 6 lines are of another view.

    The other poem “My Last Duchess” is a monologue. The Duke tells about his monologue in one continuous speech.

    The rhyming in the first poem gives a beat, it follows a pattern of A,B,B,A,A,B,B,A,C,D,D,E,C,E and this is typical of a sonnet. This gives it a sombre and serious feel. It also helps the poem to flow. The rhyming in the second half of the poem is less noticeable. It has half rhymes such as “grieve” and “leave.”

    The rhyming in the second poem is clipped. It is in rhyming couplets but sometimes it comes to an abrupt stop. This is so that nobody can interrupt the Duke whilst he is speaking. The Duke also commands the count the Count to sit and he shows off his painting off the Duchess, “Will’t please you sit and look at her?” This view is contrasted by when he says he is not sorry to have her removed, “Then all smiles stopped together.” He shows possession here, whereas in “Remember” she is sorry for having to leave him.

    The word “remember” is repeated 5 times in the poem “Remember”. This shows that it is her dearest wish for him to remember her BUT she nevertheless wants him to “forget and smile”

    In “My Last Duchess” the word “I” is very common and this shows that he is constantly thinking about himself and it shows how selfish this is. Noticeably the second word in “My Last Duchess” is “My” which shows he is self centred and possessiveness.

    This is not the case at all in “Remember” where she is selfless in her poem. (“Better by far you should forget and smile.”) In the first poem she talks about the “silent land” and “corrupted darkness” and separations and these all give her grief but it is infact the Duke that puts the Duchess into a “Silent Land.”

    In the second poem the Duke values appearance. He is worried about how things looked and not how they actually were. (“My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name”) This shows how he put an end to the Duchess’s overly joyful life. There is also alliteration in “My Last Duchess”, “Then all smiles stopped together” and this stops in the middle of the sentence and it shows how the Duchess’s life has stopped in the middle of it.

    In the first poem the last two lines are the summary of the whole poem. (“Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad”) There is also no dialogue in this poem but she does change her mind which shows that she just wants his happiness.

    In “Remember” the love is portrayed by telling her partner not to forget her and how she wants him to continue loving after she has died. She also says she does not want him to grieve about her or to worry and that it would be better if he smiled and forget than to be sad yet remembered. It is therefore an unselfish love poem.

    In “My Last Duchess” the “love” is really him thinking of the Duchess and him going over the events that happened with her. It is not really love it is in fact possessiveness. He is only interested in himself and he immortalised her so he can “show off” her any time he desires. This is shown by the curtain and he only draws it when he wants to. He has only loved himself. He could be compared to Narcissistic whose name came from a Greek Myth and this person loved himself so much he used to go to water just to look at his reflection. He then later died by falling into a lake.

    “Remember” is a poem about love and the other poem is not. The Duke in his monologue is always talking and he only stops for breath. In the first poem it is in a sonnet form and is reluctant but sincere and she finally realises that she wants him to be happy. This is love.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Compare and contrast the ways in which different views of love are portrayed in “Remember” and “My Last Duchess” Essay. (2017, Oct 25). Retrieved from

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