The last duchess analysis. A Short Analysis of Robert Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess’ 2022-10-28

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The Last Duchess is a dramatic monologue written by Robert Browning in 1842. It is spoken by the Duke of Ferrara, who is showing the portrait of his last wife, the Duchess, to an envoy from another nobleman. The Duke's monologue reveals his possessive and controlling nature, as well as his jealousy and resentment towards the Duchess.

At the beginning of the poem, the Duke is describing the portrait of the Duchess to the envoy, boasting about her beauty and how she was the perfect wife. However, as the monologue continues, it becomes clear that the Duke was not satisfied with the Duchess and was unhappy with her behavior. He mentions that she had "too much of the frailty" and that she smiled "too much." This suggests that the Duke saw the Duchess as being too flirtatious and not behaving in a way that was appropriate for a noblewoman.

The Duke's possessiveness is also evident in his jealousy towards the Duchess. He mentions that she received "too many nods" from other men and that she had "too many" of her own friends. This suggests that the Duke was not comfortable with the Duchess having any kind of independence or agency and wanted her to be entirely devoted to him.

The Duke's controlling nature is further revealed in the lines "I gave commands; / Then all smiles stopped together." This suggests that the Duke was used to getting his way and expected the Duchess to do as he commanded. It also suggests that the Duchess was not allowed to have any kind of autonomy or agency in their relationship.

The Duke's resentment towards the Duchess is also evident in the line "I call / That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands / Worked busily a day, and there she stands." This suggests that the Duke sees the Duchess as a possession or object, rather than as a person with her own thoughts and feelings.

Overall, The Last Duchess is a powerful and poignant poem that reveals the dark side of possessiveness and control in relationships. It shows the dangers of allowing power dynamics to dominate a relationship and the importance of respecting the autonomy and agency of one's partner.

“My last Duchess” Characters and Plot Analysis

the last duchess analysis

It initially appeared in the year 1842 in the Dramatic Lyrics of Browning. The speaker of the poem is the Duke of Ferrara. Lines 49 and 54 present the use of alliterations again, while the device of enjambment is used virtually everywhere in the poem. The poet has used a simple rhyme scheme of AA BB used in songs and ballads. The location of the poem is the duke's palace.

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My Last Duchess Analysis

the last duchess analysis

The speaker and the listener are looking at an extremely life-like painting of the former Duchess, whose fictional painter is introduced as Fra Pandolf. We see that the Duke stops when they come across the portrait of the late Duchess. This verse is loosely supported on historical incidents relating Alfonso, the Duke of Ferrara, who used to live in 16th century. The company below, then. Is that because perhaps your night was even more frustrating? Looking at the character traits and differences of the narrators the desires of the narrators are understandable. Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me! Both stories are about loving couples that also have altercations in their relationship.

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My Last Duchess, Robert Browning Poem Analysis/Annotations

the last duchess analysis

This demand for control is additionally reflected in his relationship with the envoy. We are made to think or even believe that the Duke murdered his own wife out of jealousy. Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me! The speaker is the Duke of Ferrara and the poet is speaker through the Duke and telling us a story. He muses that perhaps the painter had complimented her in some way, saying that no painting can ever truly capture the beauty of her faint blush. Since my interest in you is obviously not reciprocated, we'll need to locate an item to assist with that issue, along with new shoes. The Duchess died in unclear circumstances and the speaker tells us he could not condone her behavior.

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My last Duchess: Analysis

the last duchess analysis

It is possible that there have been many Duchess before she died. Don't use plagiarized sources. He regarded his late wife as a mere object. The enjambment works against the otherwise orderly meter to remind us that the duke will control his world, including the rhyme scheme of his monologue. The verse is written in the 28 rhymed couplets of the iambic pentameter.

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My Last Duchess Robert Browning Summary & Analysis

the last duchess analysis

It covers the portrait of the duchess, and the duke has the power to open and cover. Light shone through the window and glared in my eyes, making objects in the distance only look like silhouettes. The poem is not a narrative poem because it has a speaker rather than a narrator, but it nevertheless tells a story of a doomed marriage, a man capable only of irrational jealousy and possessive force, and male pride indeed, arrogance and privilege too that barely conceals the fragile masculinity just lurking beneath. The poem elicits many unanswered questions. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers. These pauses are an attempt to shield the extent of his anger at the Duchess as, by pausing, it makes it seem less like a continuous flow of anger and more of a calm appraisal of her weaknesses.

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Analysis of Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess

the last duchess analysis

. There she stands As if alive. Worked busily a day, and there she stands. She had A heart—how shall I say? The Duchess is breaking the rules and, naturally, punishment will ensue. Yet he is manifestly averse to resolving the issue through discussion. There is also the use of metonymy in line 46.


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Analysis of the poem, my last duchess in the psycho analytical framew…

the last duchess analysis

Lines 5 to 13, the Duke asks his guest to has a sit and look at the portrait. This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. The Duke makes us to see him as a good person by presenting his positive characters. This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. This is a hint of modesty in the persona of the Duke which we previously thought to be consumed by arrogance.

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The Last Duchess Analysis

the last duchess analysis

From this one can see the duke is so proud of himself, and his position. Then, he assume people and his guest that they want to ask: how such a glance came there? This happened two years into their marriage when the Duke ascended to power. Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked The caesura of the dashes creates a pause in the speech of the Duke. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974. So a few words of analysis would perhaps help elucidate how Browning uses the dramatic monologue form to such great effect here. He admires her sculptures but also is angery at her because he suspects her of cheating.

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Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess Analysis Essay Example

the last duchess analysis

Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me! The expensive neckless that the duke gave her, the sunset, hours riding has the same feeling for her, accepting everyone the same. Again, we learn how the Duke feels that her blushing is a visualisation of her faults of being too easily aroused or impressed. The Duke having made these revelations, he returns to discuss the issue of the new marriage as he shows the emissary other artworks. These two facts point to the same historical Duke even though the Duchess is not portrayed as a daughter of two powerful monarchs. We should feel thoroughly uncomfortable when we finish reading the poem for the first time, because we have just heard a man confessing to the murder of his wife — and, perhaps, other wives — without actually confessing.

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