The two monologue, “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning and “Once More
Into the Breach” by William Shakespeare, are both trying to convey a specific message.
While Henry, the speaker, in “Once More Into the Breach” tries to paint the big picture to encourage his soldiers on how they should fight the battle with honor as noble Englishmen. “Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit. To his full height. On, on, you noblest English. Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!” (Line 16, 17, 18)
Henry expresses his leadership character while displays his loyalty to his people. His speech revolves the importance of his people and captures his audience’s attention and leads to a higher purpose – to fight hard and win the battle. “I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips” (Line 31), “Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry ‘God for Henry, England, and Saint George!” (Line 33, 34)
On the other hand, The Duke in “My Last Duchess”, speaks to the emissary, who is there trying to arrange a new marriage with the Duke. While the Duke shows the emissary his palace, they come across a portrait painting of The Duke’s last Duchess. Upon reminiscing The Duke shares his thoughts and feelings of his previous Duchess and her disgraceful behavior, as if he is telling a simple story. “That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call” (Line 1, 2)
There was no significant purpose for The Duke’s speech…