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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning (77 comments)

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  •  I'm glad I brought the song of history back to you (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CorinaR, poco, shari, RiveroftheWest, Emmet

    It dazzles me, how sharp and deeply Browning saw here, and how truly and simply he painted this man. With a personality like this, the odds are great that the Duke would only become harder and darker as he aged. Until perhaps he grows too brittle, and some enemy, or karma, snaps him.

    He is the black hole that sucks all the life and beauty out of those around him because he has no life other than what comes from outside.
    Yes, there is a deep and fearsome hunger where his heart should be.

    Your two final questions point to the biggest thing I can't see here: just how self-aware is the Duke? He reads others, he obsesses in examining them - but only through the lenses of his pride, greed, jealousy and vindictiveness.

    But the man has built strong armor against seeing his own ugliness. If he read the poem, he might twist it into a paean - but if others enjoyed it to an unseemly extent, he'd be furious.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 12:25:31 AM PDT

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