Her Last Duke Essay

1565 words - 6 pages

Her Last Arse Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess" takes place primarily upstairs in a Duke's home, while the Duke is conversing with a Count about his deceased Duchess. The poem is being narrated through the mind of the Duke. Because Robert Browning is not the narrator of this poem, the reader gets to find out how the Duke's mind functions. This in fact entails an understanding of the literary technique of showing, not telling. Browning chooses not to write that the Duke was an arrogant, controlling, possessive and jealous murderous husband. As an alternative, Browning shows the true personality of the Duke, by allowing the reader to enter the mind of the Duke- where all of the said traits can be seen. In the very opening of the poem the reader can begin to see just how possessive the Duke is. In the words of Joshua Adler, "a further manifestation of the Duke's egoism and possessiveness is the reference to her as 'my last Duchess'" (Adler 222; Browning 1). The Duke's usage of a personal pronoun implies that the Duchess belongs to him; it seems as if he is displaying ownership, almost as if he is objectifying his last Duchess. This assertion is further supported as it is later revealed that the Duke keeps this portrait of his last Duchess behind curtains (Browning line 10). He is able to fully enjoy having possession of his last Duchess, as she is now an object on a wall, which he controls only allowing others to see her when he pleases. This gives the reader a sense of just how much the Duke enjoys manipulating and possessing others. Another trait of the Duke that can be seen in the first few lines of the poem is his arrogance, in the way that he seems to look down upon others. The Duke states, "Frà Pandolf's hands / Worked busily a day" (3-4). By describing the artist Frà Pandolf work as hands simply working busily, the Duke gives the impression that he believes the artist effort was mediocre, being that his work only involved the movement of hands and nothing else. The Duke has no regard for the intellectual effort Frà Pandolf put into creating the portrait. Perhaps the Duke looks down upon the Frà Pandolf as a plain, regular artist, whereas the Duke himself is far better because he has a name that is nine centuries old. . In "My Last Duchess" the Duke admits that his former wife smiled at him, but he also states that it was not "Her husband's presence only, called that spot / Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps" (14-15). According to the Duke his last Duchess was far too easily dazzled, as he described just how easily she was excited: The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace-all and each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Somehow-I know not how-as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody's gift . . . (26-29, 32-34) The Duke...

Find Another Essay On Her last Duke

My last duchess 4 Essay

1209 words - 5 pages DOMINATION OF THE DUCHESS Robert Browning’s poem “My last Duchess” is spoken from the perspective of the Duke and conveys the Dukes personality through the literary form of a dramatic monologue. It involves a fictional account of the Duke addressing an envoy from the Count to talk of details for the hopeful marriage to the Count’s daughter. The subtitle of this monologue is “Ferrara,” which suggests an

Use of language and Word Choice in My Last Duchess

898 words - 4 pages suggesting that the duke sees the Duchess as no more than an object. Furthermore the use of the word ‘Last’ implies that there have been many Duchesses and that the eponymous individual is just the most recent, suggesting that the Duke may be dishonest. This aspect of the persona’s character is confirmed later in the monologue, when the Duke says: ‘She liked whate’er she looked on And her looks went everywhere’ Here the Duke is

This essay was about the poetic devices which Robert Browning used to enhance the haunting tone in his dramatic monologue, "My Last Duchess."

871 words - 3 pages Robert Browning sets the tone of "My Last Duchess," by using three significant poetic techniques, one of which is imagery. Browning uses the Duke's monologue to sketch out images in the reader's mind of the Duchess herself, and the sinister personality of the Duke. Browning also uses another key device, which is diction to illustrate the darkness in this poem. Browning's careful word choice adds to the description of the Duchess and perhaps her

My Last Duchess and Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning

550 words - 2 pages My Last Duchess and Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning In the two poems there is a lot of ‘dramatic monologue’ where the writer is showing his personal his personal feelings in the poem. It is also classified when a single person is talking and asking questions with no reply like in ‘The Last Duchess’ the Duke is talking to the servant about his past wife but all the servant is interested in is whether the Duke will marry the Count’s

My Last Duchess

565 words - 3 pages in his palace. The monologue is designed by the author to reveal the Dukes' true character. When the Duke is meeting with an envoy for Count Ferdinand the I, the envoy notices a painting of a beautiful woman with a red spot on her cheek, she was Dukes' last Duchess. The Duke want's to be percieved as a culturally sophisticated individual,making reference to "Fra Pandolf" , which means brother Pandolf (an imaginary painter). The use of the

The use of the Dramatic monologue in the Last Duchess

1901 words - 8 pages /With anybody's gift (32-34). It seems the Duke was offended that the Duchess ranked him as equal among all other things, which shows a very "democratic" characteristic of the Duchess and makes the Duke look terrible (Burrow 58). According to the Duke, the last Duchess was too friendly, she smiled too much ""She smiled, no doubt, whene'er I passed her; but who passed without much the same smile?" (line 44)-this, of course, infuriated the Duke, who

Richard Cory And The Last Duchess

933 words - 4 pages duke?s art gallery in Ferrara Italy. The speaker of the poem is an Italian duke who ordered the murder of his wife and wishes to marry the count?s daughter. The count?s envoy has been sent to speak with the duke. Upon reaching a painting by Fra Pandolf, the duke begins to tell the envoy about the young lady in the painting. ?That?s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as though she were alive.? (751) Browning lets the reader know that

Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess

2934 words - 12 pages Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” written in 1842, is an intriguing poem that reveals an unexpected interpretation when closely analyzed. The poem is based upon actual incidents that occurred in the life of Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara. The first wife of Ferrara, Lucrezia, mysteriously died in 1561 with many speculations afterwards that it was supposedly Ferrara who murdered her. The poem takes place in media res of the Duke

The Similarities and Differences in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover

1036 words - 4 pages she was mine, mine, fair'). The main difference here is that the Duke wants to execute his wife as he cannot control her, and the Lover murders Porphyria so he can keep her forever as he cannot control her either. The Duke believes love is shown through actions and respect. He conveys this message through his bitter tone throughout most of the monologue whist he criticizes her behavior. The Lover believes love cannot last as 'passion

The Last Dutches

1236 words - 5 pages produce his works of art, the portrait of his last duchess and the statue of Neptune he points out as they where leaving. Although the Duke was unable to control the Duchess when she was alive, after her death he is in complete control of her having the artist make the statue and portrait to his exact specifications. The Duke also states "none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you, but I," revealing that now he is able to control both the

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

1117 words - 4 pages wife, who should be grateful for marrying into his family and obtaining the power of his lineage, showed affection to others. Moreover, the Duke felt he could not control his wife’s behavior. He viewed his lack of control over his wife as a threat to his power. As a result, he had her killed since his arrogance would not allow him to lower himself and speak to her. In the end, he compelled his wife’s obedience by having her killed, maintaining power over her through her painting. Works Cited Browning, Robert. “My Last Duchess.” Poetry X. Ed. Jough Dempsey. 16 Jun 2003. 08 Feb. 2014 .

Similar Essays

My Last Douche Bag Essay

1175 words - 5 pages Through the course of history, men have sought to subdue women by restricting their rights, limiting their freedoms, and when all else fails – murder. In Robert Browning’s "My Last Duchess", Duke Ferrara kills his wife in retaliation for the fact that he could not control her being – actions and feeling – which is evidenced by his description of his last Duchess, his curtain over her portrait, and his skillful control over the syntax and

The Duke And His Duchess Essay

583 words - 2 pages In Robert Browning's dramatic monologue 'My Last Duchess'; there are two characters that many people can be compared to in the world today. The two characters are Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara and his Duchess. Throughout the monologue the duke is described as being conceited, arrogant and perhaps maybe even psychotic. While his Duchess is the opposite of him, a person who enjoys life and everything it has to offer.     &nbsp

My Last Duchess Essay

603 words - 2 pages I am going to discuss the poem "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning. The poem follows a conversation between the Duke of Ferrara of Italy and an envoy from the father of the Duke's future wife. In the conversation the Duke tells the envoy about his previous wife who had died. Through this conversation we can paint a picture of the Duke and his personality. Throughout the conversation the Duke expresses exasperation at the fact that his wife

Narcissism In My Last Duchess Essay

1215 words - 5 pages Robert Browning’s poem “My last Duchess'; is spoken from the perspective of the Duke and conveys the Dukes personality through the literary form of a dramatic monologue. It involves a fictional account of the Duke addressing an envoy from the Count to talk of details for the hopeful marriage to the Count’s daughter. The subtitle of this monologue is “Ferrara,'; which suggests an historical reference to Alfonso II, the fifth Duke of Ferrara in