Dover Beach And My Last Duchess

My analysis of the setting in My Last Duchess and Dover Beach At first glance
the setting of a poem is the psychological and physiological environment in
which the story takes place. In some instances, the setting is used to develop
the characters. Robert Browning and Matthew Arnold use the setting to expose
their character traits. "My Last Duchess" and "Dover Beach,"
respectively, portray the weaknesses of the characters using elements from the
setting. The text, page 629 and 630, tells us that the setting in "My Last

Duchess" displays a valuable art form that exposes his greed and cruelty.

"Dover Beach" demonstrates changeability and impermanence. The speakerís
solution is to establish personal fidelity as a fixture against change,
dissolution, and brutality. Even though the text tells us the main use of
setting in these two poems, I believe that many individual words used in the
poems help describe the surroundings and the feelings that the speaker is trying
to get across. Robert Browning, the author of "My Last Duchess", uses the
setting to show the Dukes greed, cruelty, and jealousy. The development of the
setting begins with the Duke showing an agent for the Count of Tyrol the
curtained picture of his deceased Duchess. Count of Troy sent an agent in order
to see if the Duke is worthy to marry his daughter. The fact that he keeps the
picture behind closed curtains and deems it a privilege to view the Dukeís
last Duchess illustrates his possessiveness and greed. "She thanked men--good!

But thanked somehow--I know not how--as if she ranked my gift of
nine-hundred-years-old name with anybodyís gift". This line lends to the
setting by showing his greed and how he places himself above other men according
to his possessions and can not believe that she had the audacity to place "the

Duke" in the same category as other men. The physical setting of this poem is
revealed by phrases such as " Thatís my Duchess painted on the wall" and
words like "curtains" and "Duke". "Duke" itself makes one think of a
beautiful castle with priceless furniture and art work. The use of curtains to
cover up the Duchessí picture implies that the Duke is hiding something. The
phrase mentioned above informs all that the Dukeís past wife is dead and that
by putting her picture on the wall shows the love and devotion that he had for
her and will have for his future wife. Where the words of the Duke imply that he
shows dedication and warm heart for the Duchess the setting reveals the true
character of the Duke. "Dover Beach" is a poem written by Matthew Arnold and
was first published in 1849. The physical setting is described as a moon lit
night by a calm sea. In the distant background the speaker describes the cliffs
of England as he looks across a tranquil bay. The author is setting up a
romantic scene for two people in love. The waves give both a mental and physical
setting for the poem. "Listen! You hear the grating roar of pebbles which the
waves draw back, and fling, at their return, up the high strand, begin, and
cease, and then again begin, with tremulous cadence slow, and bring the eternal
note of sadness in." Here, Arnold begins using the setting to describe the
characters and their traits. The phrase "begin, and cease, and then again
begin" is indicative of the characters changing state of mind; to like then
dislike, to love then hate then love again. The use of ebb, flow, and misery
makes the night and the relationship between the lovers appears dark and
chaotic. Through his depiction of the eroding shores of the earth, Arnold
describes the constant changes in the relationship and the continuous changes of
their feelings towards each other. Lines 20 and 21, "the Sea of Faith, was
once, too, at the full, and round earthís shore," describe the erosion of
not only the land but the relationship of the couple, too. The wind, waves, and
sounds that you hear along the beach, obviously the physical aspects of the
setting represent the emotional ties of the lovers. The speakers description of
a land of dreams having, "neither joy, nor love, nor light, nor certitude, nor
peace, nor help for pain:" is one were the relationship has nothing hidden and
the roar of the waves on the beach reflect relaxation instead of confusion and
controversy between the couple. Being confused the couple does not know if they
are fighting to