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Revisiting “My Last Duchess”. Decoding the prompt. Discuss how the poet uses VARIOUS literary devices to reveal a CHARACTERIZATION of the SPEAKER. What you know: -he’s a Duke searching for a new wife and he’s talking to the agent of the prospective duchess ’ father
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Decoding the prompt Discuss how the poet uses VARIOUS literary devices to reveal a CHARACTERIZATION of the SPEAKER. What you know: • -he’s a Duke searching for a new wife and he’s talking to the agent of the prospective duchess’ father • -it’s a dramatic monologue, so it’s all about HOW his words reveal who he is, what he’s feeling
Common Errors • Missing the truly sinister nature of the Duke and therefore, misinterpreting the whole poem! • Not having enough support: quotes were either a. words out of context or very short phrases b. Non-existent or rare, even tho’ you got the gist of the poem. You can’t get a solid score if you don’t support your ideas. Do I have to go back to the CD CM CM model?
Common Errors, continued • You got his prideful, haughty nature, but misperceived his attitude towards the Duchess because you a. thought he loved her/missed her/ was heartbroken (nope, nope, & nope) b. Believed him that she actually cheated c. Didn’t follow his clues, some subtle, some not, that he is NOT TO BE TRUSTED!
So which devices reveal his character the most? • You have to look for patterns. For example, does he repeat stuff a lot? Does he do odd things with his language? • Also, look at the context: where is he and what’s he doing? Where is the painting and how does he reveal it to the agent? When he talks about the painting, is he talking about HER or about something else? • What seems most important to him? How does he respond to the various events he relates?
We are going to reread together, and this time, you’re going to look at the details of what he’s saying (underline odd turns of phrase or noticeable patterns or repeated images)Also look at the shifts and his TONEPut a bunch of tone words and character traits in the margins as you listen to him tell his tale…I will stop you and point out stuff you should be noticing.
Quotes you should have noticed • “(since none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you, but I)” (ln. 10) • “such stuff was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough for calling up that spot of joy” (he says this in response to WHAT incident? (19ish) • “She had a heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad” (what does THAT mean?) • “she liked whate’er she looked on, and her looks went everywhere.”
Quotes you should have noticed • “The bough of cherries some officious fool broke in the orchard for her,” • She thanked men,--good! But thanked somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked my gift of a nine-hundred-year-old name with anybody’s gift. • “Who’d stoop to blame this sort of trifling…and I choose never to stoop” • Then all smiles stopped together. There she stand as if alive. SHIFT!
So…lit devices • Tone • Subtext/ what is not said/ underlying meaning • Repetition • Interruptions, interjections, asides • What else?