Friday, December 25, 2009
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
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Thursday, November 26, 2009
Doctor Faustus is the hero of Christopher Marlowe’s tragedy. Christopher Marlowe was one of the top dramatists of Elizabethan age and Doctor Faustus is his best drama. In this drama, we can find the hero as an interesting person who has become tired and bored from life because he has mastered every branch of knowledge. So, he became interested to know about the art of black magic and became very powerful. From the point of view of that age, he was surely a bad and an evil man. Faustus wanted to be bad by capturing black magic. What is perhaps very important here to note is that after getting knowledge he became hungry for power not for more knowledge. So, from this point of view he was not a good man.
However, if you look from the renaissance spirit then we will perhaps a very different idea. In renaissance time, there was an attempt to break up the strong hold with of catholic charge in
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Spanish Tragedy is a famous play of Elizabethan age. It was written by Thomas Kyd and it is perhaps the best drama of this playwright. We know that it is mainly a revenge play but at the same time it is full of dramatic irony. In fact, from the beginning to the end, we find a lot of examples of dramatic irony. Before going any further we should try to know about dramatic irony. In dramatic irony, what happens is that the character says something but the reality is different. Ignorance is one factor. Out of ignorance, the character says something and we know that the opposite is happening or has already happened or will happen in future. Secondly, an irony is also something by which we see the character says something but the opposite happens.
In The Spanish Tragedy, in many of the occasions, the characters give some speeches and what we can find is the opposite has already happened or will happen. We can perhaps start the matter of Spanish king. He hears
The same thing can be said about the Portuguese Viceroy. The Portuguese viceroy hears that his son has been killed. However, it was not true and in fact his son Balthazar has unfairly and unjustly killed Don Andrea who is the lover of Bel-Imperia. This unfair killing starts some other killings. The Viceroy is very sad with the faults news of a son’s death in war. But the irony is that in the end will get murdered in front of his own eyes. When Bel-Imperia hears the news of the death of Don Andrea, she is at first very sad and then she decide that she would take Horatio as her new lover. She tries to give comfort to herself that with this action she will be able to get some revenge of her first lover’s death. However, what we can see is that the opposite thing happens. In stead of getting revenge, for the death of Don Andrea, the love relationship between Bel-Imperia and Horatio become the cause of Horatio. Not only that, Horatio gets killed while secretly meeting Bel-Imperia.
Bel-Imperia and Horatio met each other secretly in two scenes of The Spanish Tragedy and they are full of irony. They feel that they are safe and good time will come to them. However, their secret meeting becomes the place of their death.
Perhaps the best example of irony is the death scene of Pedringano. Pedringano was a bad person and he killed Horatio after being influenced by Lorenzo. Lorenzo thinks that he must get rid of Pedringano so that in future Pedringano can not source of danger for him. So, Pedringano is taken into court for justice and he is sentenced to death. Lorenzo tells Pedringano that he has arranged pardon for him and for this matter Pedringano was very confident that nothing would happen to him. So, he made fun with the hangman. Until the last moment, he did not understand that Lorenzo betrayed with him. As a result he got killed.
A very big example of dramatic irony is the play within play scene done by Hieronimo. Hieronimo arranges a drama and in it, he got the support of Bel-Imperia. Hieronimo killed Lorenzo and Bel-Imperia killed Balthazar. Then Bel-Imperia committed suicide and Hieronimo told everyone that whatever they saw until now was real. The King and the Portuguese Viceroy and the King’s brother could not understand that everything was real. They praised the acting of everyone that the acting was very real but they did not understand that it was real acting and this is very good example of dramatic irony used by Thomas Kyd in this drama The Spanish Tragedy.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Doctor Faustus is the best play of Christopher Marlowe. Doctor Faustus perhaps shows that why Christopher Marlowe is sometimes compared with William Shakespeare despite the fact that Marlowe wrote much fewer numbers of plays than Shakespeare. The final scene is an interesting one and it is totally different from the rest of the drama. In the final scene we find a very different Faustus and he is ready to repent to god but it is too late. So, it is totally opposite from what we have seen from the beginning until to the last moment in the play. Thus it creates an interesting fact on the audience of the play.
In the final scene, we find a soliloquy of Faustus. He has only one hour to live. It was eleven O’clock at night and after one hour the devil will capture his soul and he will be damned forever. In other words, he will go to hell forever and he will suffer. He understands that whatever he enjoyed will be lost now. So, he became too much afraid. He also losses hope.
He tries to pray to god but he can not. He has done so big sin that it has become impossible to pray to god or get the forgiveness from god. He also tries to pray to Jesus Christ but he understands that his heart can not do it very well. After thirty minutes gone then he became more afraid. He thinks of Pythagorian philosophy in which it is stated that after the death of a person the soul enters into the life of a beast. He hopes that this philosophy was true and this way he would not suffer but his soul would go to the body of a beast. He thought that the beasts have no pain and no suffering. They have no sorrow. This way he wanted to save himself at any cost.
Whatever Doctor Faustus tried, he grew more desperate and he lost more hope. He understood that there is nothing for him and he must suffer. However, it is difficult for him to accept it. Here, Marlowe has shown that every man has the same mentality. We all are afraid to die. Even the person who knows that he has only six months left is afraid to die and does not want to die. We all think that we can live and we don’t want to think of death. However, for Faustus, it was very tragic and it was very painful. He knew when he would die. One of the good parts of human being like us is that we do not know when death will capture us. This way, there is an uncertainty and we can remain happy and we can feel that may be death will not this year or next year. However, for Faustus it is quite opposite. His perhaps the greatest punishment was that he knew when he would die.
Christopher Marlowe here has dealt with psychology of Faustus very well. The knowledge of Faustus was the source of his all happiness. He got power and all knowledge became under his capacity. However, in the end, the knowledge of the timing of his death became the ultimate source of his sadness.
After Doctor Faustus dies, the chorus gives us the moral lesson of the play. Moral lesson is that we should not be too much obsessed with illegal things and we should try to follow religion. Here, by religion, the chorus has meant Christianity not any other religion. Any way, Christopher Marlowe has perhaps accepted Christianity but at the same time he showed the renaissance spirit when Doctor Faustus talked about the philosophy of Pythagoras. We know that one of the renaissance elements was Greek classical philosophy and literature. Doctor Faustus knows he will die and when he is dying he praises to god and Jesus Christ but at the same time he remembers Greek philosophy.
The soliloquy of Faustus is perhaps one of the best in Elizabethan drama. Here, we find very good analysis of human psychology by Christopher Marlowe.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Doctor Faustus is the most famous play of Christopher Marlowe and this play alone has perhaps made that his name will be mortal in the history of English literature and English drama. This play shows that he was of high skilled as a playwright and he could write very good drama. It is a tragedy of Doctor Faustus that is the main point of this play.
Before moving on further, we should discuss about the definition of a tragic hero. A tragic hero is obviously a hero of a tragedy drama. However, this is not enough. Perhaps the first tragic hero in history of drama is Oedipus in ‘Oedipus Rex’ of Sophocles. There we could find that Oedipus in the end suffers tragic consequence but he was higher than ordinary people. This matter is very important. A hero of the tragedy should not be an ordinary man but should be some higher and extra ordinary. He is exceptional than other people.
From this point of view, perhaps we can say that Doctor Faustus is a good example of tragic hero. If we look at the opening scene then we will notice that he was unhappy because he grew tired of life. He was a scholar and he wanted new knowledge. He got all the knowledge but except black magic. He realized that he did not have all the knowledge and there was something missing. So, he sought the new knowledge and he was not afraid of it. He was also not afraid of anything a deal with Lucifer and Mephistopheles.
After Doctor Faustus could make a deal with Mephistopheles then he started to enjoy all the knowledge but the main problem is that instead of gaining more knowledge, he became hungry for power. He wanted to be the boss of everyone and he wanted that other obey him. This is the thing that ultimately leads him into the tragedy. This is the thing that perhaps also takes away the sympathy from the audience.
I think that the main problem of Doctor Faustus is that he was proud and he was greedy. Although, he was thirsty for knowledge but in his character, there was a mixture of knowledge and power both. He was not happy along with knowledge but he wanted to become the dominant person. That is why, I think that his tragic flow was pride and thirst. He was also very proud and not satisfied with the things he got. His pride makes him abnormal and this way he wanted to make a deal with the devil despite knowing after a certain period of time his soul will be captured and he will suffer eternal damnation. The last scene perhaps disappoints the audience because there we can find that Doctor Faustus hopeless and desperate. He wanted to get back his belief on god and Jesus Christ. He regretted a lot why he made the deal with Lucifer. He perhaps wanted another chance from god. It is clear that if he got another chance or opportunity from god then he would not waste it and he would denounced Lucifer and come back into the way of god.
I think that Doctor Faustus is a renaissance tragic hero. Like many other people in renaissance time, he had the desire to go beyond the limit of knowledge and religion. He also challenged religion but in the end he could not win over religion. The struggle between religion and the new class of educated people who were secular by nature is perhaps the main theme of renaissance. Thus, I think that Doctor Faustus was a renaissance tragic hero.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Doctor Faustus is the most famous drama of Christopher Marlowe. Christopher Marlowe belonged to the Elizabethan age and he was one of the top dramatists of his age. He did not write a lot of plays but all his plays are of high quality and he can be easily compared with his contemporary Williams Shakespeare. If you read Doctor Faustus then you will understand that he was in no way a lesser dramatist than Shakespeare. In Doctor Faustus, we can find renaissance elements and many people think that Doctor Faustus is a renaissance man. I think that it has both renaissance and anti-renaissance elements. However, mostly it has renaissance elements and just one or two anti-renaissance elements.
The word renaissance means rebirth. Here, it means rebirth of classical knowledge of
If we look at the character of Doctor Faustus then the first thing we can find about him is that he was a scholar. He valued knowledge more than everything else. He was not satisfied with the knowledge he acquired. He wanted to gather more knowledge. This thirst in him is a very important renaissance element. Renaissance spirit was to gather knowledge, people should sacrifice their life.
Renaissance also praised individualism in stead of society. Faustus was an individualistic type of hero. He did not care for what others thought or what the society said. In stead he wanted to have his own ideas and challenge others. It is not that he was always right but he had individualistic ideas all the way in the drama.
I have stated earlier that renaissance challenged the supremacy of Catholic pope in
A very important renaissance element was an appreciation of beauty and art. When Faustus became very powerful then he wanted to have a very beautiful wife and he selected Helen from Greek mythology. We know that Helen was the most beautiful woman in Ancient Greece and for her the battle between
There are some anti-renaissance elements that we can see in Doctor Faustus. Well, what we can see is that after he became very powerful he started to use his power for very small things. For example, he started to use his power to often nonsense and useless people. He turned the people he did not like as animals. This was not a good thing. He also became greedy for money and luxury. He did not give that much importance for knowledge for which his soul is sold. In stead, he spent his life for luxury and this is against the renaissance spirit.
Perhaps the most anti-renaissance element in Doctor Faustus is the death scene. When he was dying, he became very coward and he forgot everything and he wanted to get the forgiveness of god. He wanted to again come back to religion and Christianity. It was he who fought against the Christian ideas and made fun with religion but when death came to him he became very afraid.
Of course, it is natural because when a person is dying then he becomes very afraid. And secondly, if he was shown that he was not afraid of death and accepted death easily and did not care of Christianity then the audience of Christopher Marlowe’s time would become angry. Christopher Marlowe would have suffered from the Church that he was against Christianity. So, we have to think of the time that Christopher Marlowe wrote the drama.In conclusion, I like to say that Doctor Faustus was a renaissance man and we have to remember the contribution of the scholars who dedicated their lives for bringing renaissance in
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
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Saturday, November 07, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The Spanish Tragedy is the most popular and successful drama of Thomas Kyd. Thomas Kyd was a dramatist of Elizabethan age and The Spanish Tragedy is often called as revenge play. It is deeply influenced by the roman philosopher and dramatist Seneca. That is why, we can find many Senecan elements in this drama.
Before going into details about the Senecan elements it is better we try to discuss something about Seneca and his life and his ideas. Seneca was a politician in Roman age. However, he was also a scholar but he was perhaps unlucky in life because in Roman history at a time when there were too many conspiracies. Court life was always dangerous and Seneca for most of his life had to deal with many dangers in his life. In fact, his own personal life was full of tragedies and in the end he was forced to commit suicide because he king suspected that he was against the king. In Senecan tragedies, we can find many bloodshed and violence. Horror and super natural elements are also present. As I have already said that he was in
The Spanish Tragedy starts with the murder of Don Andrea by Don Balthazar and Don Andrea was a Spanish noble man. It was a battle between
The presence of super natural elements is anther Senecan element. In The Spanish Tragedy, the revenge is a super natural character and he is present though out the drama. In fact, he talks and speaks like a human being in stead of his super natural elements. He promises to Andrea and he keeps his promise.
Horatio is the friend of Don Andrea and he was a brave soldier. He showed a lot of bravery by capturing the Portuguese prince and this way the king of
The murder of Horatio makes two persons very angry. However, I should write here that Lorenzo hires some people to murder Horatio. Then Lorenzo himself thought that if these two people betrays him in future or reveals that Lorenzo is the main villain. So, he arranges that these two murderers of Horatio get killed. Thus, we can find that Lorenzo is a very bad character. Both Hieronimo and Bel-Imperia understand that Lorenzo and Balthazar were the murderer of Horatio and this matter made them very angry. The mother of Horatio is Isabella and because of this great loss of the death of her son she becomes mad and she commits suicide.
Hieronimo makes a plan to get revenge and he seeks the help of Bel-Imperia. Bel-Imperia happily agrees to help her because Bel-Imperia is also angry for the death of both Don Andrea and Horatio. In the end, Hieronimo arranges a drama to be staged and this drama is a drama within a drama. The drama was arranging in a way that Bel-Imperia kills Balthazar and kills herself. Before that Hieronimo kills Lorenzo and in the end Hieronimo could commit suicide. So, within a short time the audience can see that four deaths happened in the stage. Murder and violence is perhaps nothing new in drama. When there is a tragic play, naturally there will be death and sometimes murder and bloodshed. However, in the dramas that have Senecan elements like The Spanish Tragedy, violence and bloodshed are in extreme level. They create horror in the mind of the audience. The people get killed in a short time is perhaps more melo dramatic than tragic.
It will be unwise to say that The Spanish Tragedy is only a drama about revenge. It is perhaps more than revenge. There is a question of deniable justice. Don Andrea is murdered unjustly. Horatio is murdered in a very bad way. Hieronimo wanted to seek justice from the king of
Here, I like to say something about political matter. The Spanish Tragedy was written at a time when Queen Elizabeth was very powerful in
In conclusion, I like to say that The Spanish Tragedy is a very good drama and it is full of Senecan elements.
Monday, November 02, 2009
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009
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Tithonus and Ulysses are two famous poems written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Both of them were written after the death of his best friend Arthur Henry Hallam and they are based on almost similar theme: Journey. In both the poems, the protagonist has grown older and is aware of death as a means of ending their life cycle. Death, a very popular theme of Victorian age, is also captured in both the poems. However, despite these similarities, the poems are different in terms of various aspects.
The first and obvious difference that a reader can notice between these two poems is that Ulysses is a poem of hope and optimism, while Tithonus is a poem of despair and frustration. Ulysses knows that he would die very soon and this is his last sea voyage. He is not afraid to face destiny. In stead, he is eager to get some new adventures as he did in the past seeking more glory. Tithonus in his young age was curious about immortality and he wanted to taste it. However, since he grew older, he lost all the attraction towards immortality. In stead, he has given up on life and wants a quick death. So, as a character Ulysses is full of life and pro-active, while Tithonus is lifeless.
Ulysses has a sense of adventure, but Tithonus is afraid of any new adventure. It is not that Ulysses always had glories and happiness in the past when he visited different places in the past. He also faced adversity of life during his previous journeys, but he enjoyed the moments greatly and he wants to live and die in adventure in what would bring glory and pride for him. On the other hand, Tithonus has experienced the thrill of adventures when he was young, but now after being granted a gift of immortality by his beloved Aurora, the Goddess of dawn, he has now understood his misfortune as he did not ask for immortal youth, in stead of immortal life. Now, he has lost his pride that once he had for his attractive physique, and wants to die in order to get free from the boon. So, he has no temptation left for a new adventure.
By reading the two poems a reader may feel that knowledge is a very important topic present in the two poems. For example, Ulysses always wants to acquire knowledge and he feels that life without knowledge is meaningless:
"How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!"
Tithonus, on the other hand, sought immortality to Aurora, the Goddess of dawn, who fell in love with him, in order to enjoy endless eternal happiness. So, the intention of Tithonus was not to seek knowledge; rather he wanted to enjoy the heavenly comfort with his beautiful wife Aurora. So, he does not care for knowledge. He got the opportunity that Ulyses could not have, but he utilized it seeking luxury and pleasure. When Ulyssess cherishes to acquire life after life for seeking more and more knowledge, Tithonus achieved what he sought, but did not use it for acquiring knowledge. Rather, in the end, Tithonus realizes that the boon, bestowed upon him by the Goddess, has turned into a curse as he lost his youth. Now, he wants to get out of the gift in order to become free from his cursed-life where he does not find pleasure and pride anymore.
Ulysses was a spiritual person who was wise. He likes to think about life and he tries to search insight his own mind. He does not care for luxury and lavishness. So, being a king does not bring him any peace, but even makes him more restless that he has got stuck in same routine. In fact, Ulysses as a character is full of life and pro-active. Tithonus, in contrast, is a materialistic person who cares for earthly and sensual pleasure. The Goddess fell in love with him, and he, in stead of responding with more love for the Goddess, took advantage of the emotion of the Goddess Aurora and gained immortality with her blessing. Tithonus had nothing spiritual inside him. He grew older and lost his charismatic youth with days go on and now he has become a lifeless person in the sense that he only ponders about death now in pursuit of getting free from this painful immortality in an attempt to get free from this painful immortality.
Acceptance of death is another important difference between the two poems. Ulysses wants to get free of death by doing some noble deed, even though he accepts death as an eventual means of ending life. Tithonus, in contrast, is eager to embrace death, even though he knows death would not come to him as Gods and Goddess can not take away their boon once given. So, both Ulysses and Tithonus accept death as part of human life, but they approach death differently.
In the end, I would like to say that the theme of the two poems: Journey- is reflected in two contrasting ways. Ulysses wants to go on his last sea-voyage before death in pursuit of acquiring more knowledge, accepting the eventual death, but willing to do something noble before death. Tithonus, on the other hand, is now desperate to end his journey after experiencing a bitter past. Overall, differences between the two poems are more vivid than the similarities seen in the two poems.
“Ulysses” of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and “My Last Duchess” of Robert Browning are two good examples of Dramatic monologues written during the Victorian age. So, naturally there are some similarities from structural point of view between the two poems. However, I think that there are many differences between them and in this term paper I want to focus on the differences between these two poems.
The first thing that comes to our mind by reading the two poems is that “Ulysses” is a poem about seeking knowledge and physical journey, while “My Last Duchess” is mainly about power and pride. The duke is very powerful and he always reminds others of his power and authority. He expects others to be humble in front of him and obey his every command. The Duchess did not listen to him and he became very angry and killed her.
There is no doubt that Ulysses was a very powerful man of ancient
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me,--
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads,-- you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
As for knowledge, Ulysses was always dedicated for gaining knowledge and experience. During his time, most people did not give value to this matter and that is why, Ulysses was not satisfied with his countrymen. He said in the openings stanza of the poem that people of his country only knew about eating and sleeping and did not understand him. The Duke showed off to others all the time that he was a man of high culture, but the reality was that he did not have any interest about knowledge.
In “My Last Duchess”, we find a lot of description about renaissance art. It was clear that the Duke was a fan of art and painting. But, I got the feeling by reading the poem that he was interested about painting only to show off to others that he came from an aristocratic family. He knew how to spend money smartly and collect quality paintings and statues, but he did not appreciate art for art’s sake. Art was a device for him to show his authority. He always felt that he was different from others and he had high taste. On the other hand, in “Ulysses”, we can not find any description of any painting or statues but it seems to me that Ulysses himself was an artist of life. He wanted to find true meaning of life and how to live happily. His art was to teach others about the value of knowledge and wisdom.
“My Last Duchess” is a poem about renaissance time and we know that humanity, individualism and freedom are the important features of renaissance age. The Duke is always eager to show that he is a renaissance man and he appreciates art and painting. However, in his heart, he did not have any respect towards humanity, individualism and freedom. In stead, he was power-hungry just like many people during the time of Ulysses. On the other hand, Ulysses had some kinds of renaissance spirit in him and that is why, he gave value to knowledge and experience, although he spent most of his time in fighting. He understood that knowledge is higher than authority. Thus, we find a paradox in these two poems.
The Duke is very possessive. He wanted that his wife only smiles at him and he can enjoy the beauty of his wife alone. However, in return, he was not ready to give any love or emotion to his wife. He only cared for his own pleasure and he was a very selfish husband and a very selfish man in his personal life. He is not ready to sacrifice anything for anyone, but he feels that because he was born in a 900-year-old family, others must obey him without any question. On the other hand, it is clear that Ulysses had sacrificed a lot for his soldiers. That is why, even in old age, they are ready to accompany him in his adventure. There is a strong possibility that all of them would die but still, they are ready to accompany Ulysses in his last voyage. Thus, Ulysses won the loyalty and respect of his fellow sailors by respecting them first.
The idea of civilization is very important in both of these two poems. Ulysses was unhappy with his people because he thought that his countrymen were savage. Even he was not so satisfied with his wife and son. He could easily decide to leave them even at old age. Ulysses believes that he is more civilized and higher than the people around him. However, this kind of feeling did not destroy his politeness. He knows that he has earned this higher status with his own personal efforts. On the other hand, the Duke had done nothing to have this feeling of civilization in himself. He was only born in a rich and powerful family. He could spend freely for art and entertainment. For him, civilization was nothing more than possessing a pretty wife, being the Duke of an area and managing some beautiful paintings.
Ulysses was a spiritual person and he had depth in his personality. On the other hand, the Duke was a surface person. He did not have any spirituality. He did not care to go deep any matter. He did not even try to think which way he could make his wife listen to his wanted. He just knew that his wife must listen to her or she would be punished. Thus, it is natural his wife suffered a lot in married life and death saved her from more torture.
The Duke was a very good example of materialism. He only cared for his own benefit and own consumption. He liked a painting and he must have it. He liked a beautiful woman (The Duchess) and he must have it. He can not think of any other way. He does not care for any good idea. From this matter, Ulysses was just the opposite. He spent all his life not just for his own glory, but also for his ideas. He is the symbol of idealism. Ulysses has some goals in life. He is not satisfied with just ruling his countrymen. He does not like to control other people that much but he wants to bring good things for everyone. He believed that knowledge is supreme and for this matter he is again going out on a sea voyage.
What I feel is that although the two main characters of these two poems are exactly opposite, the two poets had the same goals with their poems. They are both idealists in their message. Tennyson has showed the positive side of human characteristics. His hero Ulysses is full of good qualities. Ulysses is not an ordinary person. He is attractive to many readers and it is true that most of us can not become like Ulysses but still we like his ideas. We know that he is an extra-ordinary man and if possible, we should try to be like him. On the other hand, Browning has created the character of Duke in his poem and the Duke is narrating the whole story. However, Browning does not like the character of the Duke. Browning has used subtle ironies to show his displeasure about the Duke. Although he is the main character in “My Last Duchess”, the readers know very well that the Duke is not a person that we like to follow.
May be, many of us in our personal life are somehow similar to Duke but in the end, we are not proud of this matter. Browning has given us the feeling that the Duke is everything opposite to goodness and idealism. So, Browning has also made the readers aware about idealism and spirituality in life. I feel that Browning has been more successful in giving his message of idealism because he could create a lot of reactions in the mind of the readers. When we read “My Last Duchess”, we know that the Duke is showing off a lot and he is a very bad person. He is all the time saying bad words about the Duchess but the more he says the more readers realize that the Duchess was a noble lady. The readers also understand that the way of the Duke was very bad.
In conclusion, I like to say that with all the contrasting ideas presented in “Ulysses” and “My Last Duchess”, they have almost similar message.