The literary critic Robert Langbaum claims of Browning’s “My Last Duchess” that “condemnation” of the Duke is “the least interesting response.” Explain, in your own reading of the poem, why this is the case, and/or what an interesting response is or would be.In 2016, Cambridge University announced that they were in possession of the hotel register for Shelley’s stay in Chamonix (Chamouni), where he was inspired to write “Mont Blanc.” He identified himself in the register as “Atheist. Lover of Humanity. Democrat.” Allowing for the possibility that he could just be joking (or that this supposed historical document is not authentic), explain how “Mont Blanc” could be a reflection of Shelley’s stated values (or not!).Elizabeth Bishop’s “Casabianca” begins “Love’s the boy stood on the burning deck/ trying to recite ‘The boy stood on/ the burning deck,’” and ends, “And love’s the burning boy.” Making reference (obviously) to the poem’s explicit reference to Hemans’ “Casabianca,” theorize the progression of meaning between these lines.Choosing a poem other than the two we have read specifically under the heading of dramatic poetry (Browning’s “My Last Duchess” and Satan’s soliloquy in Milton’s Paradise Lost), identify a poem in which the speaker seems to be more like a character than like the voice of the poet, and theorize how understanding of this character is important to interpreting the poem. We have read several poems this semester in which poetry (if not the very poem we are reading) is likened, explicitly or implicitly, to a physical, material work of art. Identify and discuss at least two such poems, and explain what the comparison illuminates about the situation the poem describes, and about poetry generally.
Principles of Literary Study Final Exam