The Duke boasts that he now holds the power to let others see the smile of the portrait that was meant only for him. The first person point of view for this poem explains further the thirst for power and self-love which the Duke honors himself with by controlling the women and people in his life of which he feels superior.
Browning illustrates the complexity of the controlling Duke by showing his carelessness and arrogance by the words he uses to impress his guest. When the Duke could not obtain complete power over and tame his young wife, she died in a manner which is not fully explained.
For the Duke this marriage is a trial of the subservience of women to their wealthy and powerful husbands. The details given in this poem bring forth the conclusion that the Duke got rid of his last Duchess and is now ready for a new one.
Had the poem illustrated the Dukes first wife it could have been titled My First Duchess. This poem has themes commonly found in the local color movement and associated with feminism. Browning gives the audience a picture of the dark and distorted beginning of a new couple and marriage. The purpose of the poet is to expose the real character of the duke and satirize the culture that he represents, in general.
The monologue is designed in such a way that it reveals the true character of the duke who is having a small-talk with a visitor; the readers need to explore the story behind his boasting. As the duke is preparing to go downstairs, probably putting on his clothes, he sees that the messenger is looking at the paintings on the wall.
He begins to talk about the painting of his previous wife the duchess. He says that it was a painting by the famous Italian painter brother Pandolf. But that is another example of his egotism. He claims that he is such a powerful man that no one has dared to ask him about the red spot on the cheek of the duchess. But we see that he is such a mean, evil-minded, jealous and cynical man who thinks that if his wife looks at or smiles at visitors and any other males, it is because of her sexual excitement with them: The duke is a shameless tyrant who cannot think of anything positive; most probably because he is evil minded himself.
We never find any hint that the duchess was morally guilty of the kinds of accusations he is making against her; if she was actually bad, this shameless man would have said it no unclear words. No one will be ever convinced that to smile, to thank, to be interested, to be shy, or to talk to people is such a crime, or immorality.
As he shows the visitor through his palace, he stops before a portrait of the late Duchess, apparently a young and lovely girl. The Duke begins reminiscing about the portrait sessions, then about the Duchess herself. His musings give way to a diatribe on her disgraceful behavior: As the Duke and the emissary walk leave the painting behind, the Duke points out other notable artworks in his collection.
The lines do not employ end-stops; rather, they use enjambment —gthat is, sentences and other grammatical units do not necessarily conclude at the end of lines. The Duke is quite a performer: Indeed, the poem provides a classic example of a dramatic monologue: But Browning has more in mind than simply creating a colorful character and placing him in a picturesque historical scene.
Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess" conveys a Duke's feelings toward his deceased wife. The Duke addresses his feelings to her lifelike portrait.
- An Analysis of My Last Duchess by Robert Browning “My Last Duchess” is written as a dramatic monologue, which is a poem that is read as if on stage, talking to an audience or character in a play.
My Last Duchess-Robert Browning The poem "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning is a poem written about a Duke of the 16th the century. The Duke is the speaker of the poem an is explaining to a visitor about a portrait of a ex-wife. Free Essay: Poets often use literary techniques to clearly convey the personalities of their speakers. In “My Last Duchess”, Robert Browning uses point of.
My Last Duchess dramatizes the internal conflict of the speaker, the Duke of Ferrara. He is conflicted with the faults of his last wife, and the desire for. Robert Browning – My Last Duchess The Thesis Statement – A Literary Criticism of “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning. 1. About the opening line. 2. The unveiling of the portrait. Which essay subject were you searching for? Leave us your email and we will inform you when we will add new information to our site (optional).