The Runaway Slave At Pilgrim's Point

915 Words4 Pages
During the Victorian Age giving the voice to the murderer was very uncommon in literature; however, in both “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point,” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and “My Last Duchess,” by Robert Browning they give the voice to the murderer. Within “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point,” Barrett Browning develops the character of a female slave who smoothers her baby to death; however, the speaker reveals how rational it was for her to murder her child. In “My Last Duchess,” the voice, the duke, who implies that he murdered his wife, reveals how unjust and unruly it was to murder the duchess. As the literature is analyzed, commonalities, such as murder and human behavior, begin to emerge and reveal the psychological reality…show more content…
In line 3-4, “Frà Pandolf’s hands/ Worked busily a day,” which implies that the artists hands where not only busily painting the portrait of the duchess, but rather involved in other activities. The duke also reveals his jealousy when he points out “that spot/ Of joy into the Duchess’ Cheek,” (Browning lines 15-16), especially when the speaker suggests that her “wrist [shows] too much” (Browning line 17) and her “faint/ Half-flush that dies along her throat” (Browning line 18-19). He also implies that she was flirtatious since “her looks when everywhere” (Browning line 24). Along with jealousy, the duke reveals his need for control, particularly when he states that “none puts by the curtain” (Browning line 9-10) of the painting but him. It becomes apparent that the murder of the duchess sprung from feelings the duke had towards her. He was angry with her for “[ranking]/ [His] gift of a nine-hundred-year-old name/ With anybody’s gift” (Browning line 31-33) and “gave commands;/then all smiles stropped together” (Browning 45-46). Furthermore, he uncovers views his new duchess as “[his] object” (Browning line 53) like another other owned proporty. Thus, the speaker shows a psychological reality of pure, planned murder from jealousy, disdain, and hatred towards his “last duchess” (Browning line 1), which exposes a psychological reality that his intentions were to get ride of problem and boast about it in the dramatic
Open Document