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Please Mark My Essay - GCSE English Lit

I have written the first paragraph for and essay comparing London and My Last Duchess (Power and Conflict Poetry)
If possible, could someone read it and let me know if I am on the right track?
Thank you :smile:


Both ‘My Last Duchess’ and ‘London’ depict individuals as being controlled or confined by their social superiors, or societal institutions. In ‘My Last Duchess’, Duke Ferrara, with his ‘nine-hundred-years-old name’, is from the upper echelons of society, the long hyphenated compound adjective here evocative of his long lineage. He sees the Duchess as his property, wishing to control every aspect of her life, as he speaks of the ‘mule/ She rode with round the terrace’; the alliteration of the letter ‘r’ here, suggests that she must always stay within his boundaries, confined to his land. This restraint to owned property is also explored in ‘London’ as the speaker wanders through ‘each chartered street’ and near the ‘chartered Thames’ in the first stanza, the repetition emphasising how much of London is government-owned, but it is not just the land that is being controlled it is the people too! They carry ‘mind-forged manacles’, formed by social conditionings and restraints put in place by institutions such as schools, churches, and goverments (Blake famously hated these) and the chains these create are echoed in the hyphen and alliteration linking the words on the line together. To ‘forge’ a metal means to heat and hammer it into place which suggests that peoples minds’ are being brutally forced to change, to match society’s view of acceptable. In ‘My Last Duchess’ however, the Duchess does not conform to the Duke’s exact expectations, and he kills her to regain complete control, even over who can see the painting of her as he says on line 11, ‘(since none puts by/ The curtain... but I)', the brackets here evocative of the curtains imprisoning her, even in death. This links to the bleak ending of ‘London’ the last two words are ‘marriage hearse’ presenting marriage as yet another institution that traps and controls people’s (especially women’s) lives. This is a view reflected in the statue mentioned at the end of ‘My Last Duchess’ as the Duke says to ‘Notice Neptune, though,/ Taming a sea-horse,’ which is a metaphor for him killing the Duchess, suggesting that he clearly believed he was more powerful he likens himself to ‘Neptune’ (god of the sea) displaying his Hubris. Marriage is depicted as making women powerless in both poems, a view supported by the classical Athenian Engue ‘I give this woman to you for the ploughing of legitimate children.’ Througout both poems, the less powerful are controlled by those above them: the Duchess is trapped throughout her life (and death) and the people in London are controlled until they are driven to conformity.
(edited 9 months ago)
Really good! How do you structure your essays, are they 2 paragraphs?
Reply 2
Original post by laurxnhannah
Really good! How do you structure your essays, are they 2 paragraphs?

Usually I would write 3 but I'm not sure

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