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My Last Duchess Analysis



Author: Poetry of Robert Browning Type: Poetry Views: 28687





FERRARA.



That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,

Looking as if she were alive.I call

That piece a wonder, now: Fr<a`> Pandolf's hands

Worked busily a day, and there she stands.

Will't please you sit and look at her? I said

``Fr<a`> Pandolf'' by design, for never read

Strangers like you that pictured countenance,

The depth and passion of its earnest glance,

But to myself they turned (since none puts by

The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)

And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,

How such a glance came there; so, not the first

Are you to turn and ask thus.Sir, 'twas not

Her husband's presence only, called that spot

Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps

Fr<a`> Pandolf chanced to say ``Her mantle laps

``Over my lady's wrist too much,'' or ``Paint

``Must never hope to reproduce the faint

``Half-flush that dies along her throat:'' such stuff

Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough

For calling up that spot of joy.She had

A heart---how shall I say?---too soon made glad,

Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er

She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.

Sir, 'twas all one! My favour at her breast,

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

Would draw from her alike the approving speech,

Or blush, at least.She thanked men,---good! but thanked

Somehow---I know not how---as if she ranked

My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name

With anybody's gift.Who'd stoop to blame

This sort of trifling? Even had you skill

In speech---(which I have not)---to make your will

Quite clear to such an one, and say, ``Just this

``Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,

``Or there exceed the mark''---and if she let

Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set

Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,

---E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose

Never to stoop.Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,

Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without

Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;

Then all smiles stopped together.There she stands

As if alive.Will't please you rise? We'll meet

The company below, then.I repeat,

The Count your master's known munificence

Is ample warrant that no just pretence

Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;

Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed

At starting, is my object.Nay, we'll go

Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,

Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,

Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!










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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

There is no proof that the Duchess has been killed by the Duke, we all just assume this. There is no proof of murder, but we know she has died, when in the poem it says: \'As if alive.\' For an exam, you could argue over both sides of that the Duke is jealous that the Duchess was a happy, loving character: \'She had a heart.\' This shows she cared and loved for others, and from her respect, she received gifts: \'The bough of cherries.\' This may have not been off a lover, it could of been off a friend. Or you could argue that the Duchess was flirty, as: \'Her eyes went everywhere.\' and he had, had enough of it. Hope it helps.

| Posted on 2013-05-22 | by a guest


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I NEED HELP!Why Was The Duke So angry That the Duchess Didnt Rank Due To The Fact That He Had A Nine Hundred Year Old Name?

| Posted on 2012-11-24 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem is dramatic, and its talking about his wife and his daughter.

| Posted on 2012-03-22 | by a guest


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Just a question: Does the Duke let many people see his last Duchess? Why or why not?
(Referring to lines 9 and 10)
Thanks.

| Posted on 2012-02-26 | by a guest


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Ferrara - It was a well known cityof Italy.
Someone said Ferrarra isn\'t the narrator, he\'s the envoy\'s master. Ha Ha Ho

| Posted on 2012-01-24 | by a guest


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Duke is very selfish person. Duchess was immature and childish lady. in this poem, poet wants to tell that Duchess\'s Love,smile and happiness was for everybody!! but Duke can\'t tolerate that, that\'s why he killed her!!

| Posted on 2012-01-13 | by a guest


.: :.

Duke is very selfish person. Duchess was immature and childish lady. in this poem, poet wants to tell that Duchess\'s Love,smile and happiness was for everybody!! but Duke can\'t tolerate that, that\'s why he killed her!!

| Posted on 2012-01-13 | by a guest


.: :.

Duke is very selfish person. Duchess was immature and childish lady. in this poem, poet wants to tell that Duchess\'s Love,smile and happiness was for everybody!! but Duke can\'t tolerate that, that\'s why he killed her!!

| Posted on 2012-01-13 | by a guest


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i could not understand about dowry which is mentioned in this poem please explain this.

| Posted on 2011-06-14 | by a guest


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Hello everybody ...
I just want to ask you a small Q about this poem ,,
How is Robert Browning Drawn his wife through this poem ?
I hope that you can help me ,,
all my love

| Posted on 2011-04-21 | by a guest


.: :.

thank u everyone.these analysises have helped me a lot.

| Posted on 2011-01-26 | by a guest


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i want to ask that either the visitor wants to marry his daughter to duke or there was any duke daughter whom duke gonna marry to the visitor

| Posted on 2011-01-24 | by a guest


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Murder... mystery... intrigue... All describe Robert Browning\'s
poem, \"My Last Duchess.\" From the speakers\'s indirect allusions to the
death of his wife the reader might easily think that the speaker
committed a vengeful crime out of jealousy. His flowery speech confuses
and disguises any possible motives, however, and the mystery is left
unsolved. Based on the poem\'s style, structure, and historical
references, it becomes evident that even if the speaker did not directly
kill his wife, he certainly had something to hide.
The style and structure of this poem play a significant role in the
effect of the poem. As is typical of Browning\'s poems, \"My Last
Duchess\" is written as a dramatic monologue: one speaker relates the
entire poem as if to another person present with him. This format suits
this poem particularly well because the speaker, taken to be the Duke of
Ferrara, comes across as being very controlling, especially in
conversation. For example, he seems jealous that he was not able to
monopolize his former duchess\' smiles for himself. He also seems to
direct the actions of the person he is addressing with comments such as
\"Will\'t please you rise?\" (line 47) and \"Nay, we\'ll go / Together down,
sir\" (lines 53-54).
Browning uses many techniques, including a simple rhyme scheme,
enjambment, and caesura to convey various characteristics and qualities
about the speaker and the situation. Browning uses an AA BB rhyme
scheme, which is very common to ballads and songs. It also enhances the
irony of the speaker\'s later comment that he does not have \"skill / In
speech\" (lines 35-36). The enjambed lines indicate the control that the
speaker is exerting on the conversation and give the feeling that the
speaker is rushing through parts of the poem. When the Duke is speaking
of the death of his wife, for example, the lines running over suggest
that he is nervous about the subject. The caesuras also suggest to the
reader that he is hiding something or that he is pausing to think.
When discussing the poem\'s content, there are many things we know
for certain and many others that are questionable. We know that the
Duchess died suspiciously and that the Duke is in the process of looking
for a new wife. He is speaking to a messenger about a painting of his
now deceased wife. The Duke, of course, is casting himself in a
favorable light and is presenting his best side. He wants to make it
look as if his wife was cheating on him and was unfaithful to him. He
is very controlling, and could not control her and her smiles. This
smile was what the Duke likes the most about the painting of the
Duchess--he feels that the painter accurately captured the smile and the
vivacity of the Duchess. Now that the Duke owns this painting and has
placed it behind a curtain, he can at last control who is graced with
her smile.
When the Duchess was alive, the Duke could not control her smile
and love for life and he considered her unfaithful. It is thought that
he poisoned her because of these suspicions. Other aspects of the Duke
that remain unclear include his true character. As mentioned, he is
presenting his best side, but through his speech the reader sees how he
is very jealous and controlling, which leads one to believe that he may
have many dishonorable qualities. Another ambiguous quality about the
Duke is his historical character. The poem clearly references the
historical Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara (a city in northeast Italy),
whose first wife died suspiciously within two years of their marriage.
We know that Browning\'s Duke has a 900-year-old name of which he is very
proud, and, based on his collection of paintings and sculptures, that he
was an patron of the arts. Both facts correspond with information known
about the historical Duke. However, the poem omits some important
information. Browning does not refer to the Duchess in the painting as
being a member of the royal de Medici family. Historical sources
indicate that Alfonso\'s first wife was Lucretia de Medici, the daughter
of two very important and powerful Italian monarchs. The poem is based
on the fact that she died within two years of the Duke\'s ascension to
the throne. Although sources indicate that she died suspiciously, it
was never proven that the Duke had anything to do with her death.

| Posted on 2011-01-14 | by a guest


.: :.

Poetry Group I attend have to critique this poem.When it was read out today none of us had a clue until someone explained the Duke was a contro freak and had her killed. Reading all the messages here is as good as a lecture.I\'ll have the best critique in the Group. thanks a bunch!, S.A.R. 7.1.11

| Posted on 2011-01-06 | by a guest


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THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE COMMENTED ON THIS WONDERFUL PIECE, YOUR COMMENTS ARE ALL APPRECIENTED- EDZIAH BLESS KOFI, KNUST GHANA.

| Posted on 2010-12-05 | by a guest


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My Last Duchess is a historical poem . It is not a didactic poem.

| Posted on 2010-11-30 | by a guest


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the poem is about the dukes jealousy for his wife and how he could not control himself he orders for her to die.

| Posted on 2010-10-28 | by a guest


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This poem is loosely based on historical events involving Alfonso, the Duke of Ferrara, who lived in the 16th century. The Duke is the speaker of the poem, and tells us he is entertaining an emissary who has come to negotiate the Duke’s marriage (he has recently been widowed) to the daughter of another powerful family. 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: he claims she flirted with everyone and did not appreciate his “gift of a nine-hundred-years- old name.” As his monologue continues, the reader realizes with ever-more chilling certainty that the Duke in fact caused the Duchess’s early demise: when her behavior escalated, “[he] gave commands; / Then all smiles stopped together.” Having made this disclosure, the Duke returns to the business at hand: arranging for another marriage, with another young girl. As the Duke and the emissary walk leave the painting behind, the Duke points out other notable artworks in his collection.
SUMAIYYA AHMADANI STUDENT OF SINDH UNIVERSITY JAMSHORO

| Posted on 2010-10-11 | by a guest


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My last duchess speaks of duke looking at a painting on a wall. the painting is off his wife that he murdered cuz she didnt feel the same

| Posted on 2010-09-16 | by a guest


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duke is selfish but the duchess could have sat back and relaxed rather than irritating her husband ..a lesson for women in every culture, every century ,thanks browning

| Posted on 2010-09-04 | by a guest


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mylast duchess is a very confusing poem, but as you read it again and again you may realise that the duchess is considered as a flirty woman, but matbe its just out of the jealousy of the duke...it\'s my report and i\'ve learned a lot from you. thank you!
MJ

| Posted on 2010-08-24 | by a guest


.: :.

mylast duchess is a very confusing poem, but as you read it again and again you may realise that the duchess is considered as a flirty woman, but matbe its just out of the jealousy of the duke...it\'s my report and i\'ve learned a lot from you. thank you!
MJ

| Posted on 2010-08-24 | by a guest


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how dot you explain the reference \"neptune taming the sea horse thought a rarity\".it was given to us by my stupid professor mister mendoza ulaga

| Posted on 2010-08-11 | by a guest


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what does "Her mantle laps Over my lady's wrist too much" mean?
pip x

| Posted on 2010-06-12 | by a guest


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The dutchess was 14 years old when she got married to the Duke. She died at the age of 17, apparently "poisoned". As she was immature she did not know how to express her love only for her husband. She loved nature, presents she received, and everyone in the palace. Surely the Duke found it hard to understand this.

| Posted on 2010-06-06 | by a guest


.: :.

Thank you so much ppl! I am in year seven and my stupid nglish teacher- Mr Lysons has given homework that GCSE people are doing. You have helped me alot guys thanks!
Megan

| Posted on 2010-05-04 | by a guest


.: :.

Thank you so much ppl! I am in year seven and my stupid nglish teacher- Mr Lysons has given homework that GCSE people are doing. You have helped me alot guys thanks!
Megan

| Posted on 2010-05-04 | by a guest


.: :.

You guys are all so helpful!! :)
Remember the Dukes egotism - he thought he should be the only person to whom she directed her smiles and sexual attention.

| Posted on 2010-03-20 | by a guest


.: :.

. Dramatic monologue according to x A literary work which consist of a revealing one-way conversation by a character or person, usually directed to a second person or to an imaginary audience. It typically involves a critical moment of a specific situation with the speakers words unintentionally providing a revelation of his character which makes some problematic of irony. My last Duchess by Robert Browning shows that its a monologue since there is only one speaker. We see that its specifically a dramatic monologue when we start reading between the lines. We see that he unintentionally reveals that he murdered his last duchess. While the Duke is trying to make himself look favourable, he actually shows the opposite which is very Ironic.
The author uses a wise choice of words to demonstrate the reader a sense of ownership that she only belongs to him. We encounter this in line 1; Thats my last duchess painted on the wall. The first five lines reveal that the dukes wife is a beauty prize who could not be reproduced by paint and the duke takes pride over his possession. Robert Browning mentions the artist of who painted his last duchess showing the importance of his effort. A line 6-8 as well as lines 15-20 describe the uniqueness and facial expressions of the duchess, and let the reader know that only he knows her for who she was and what she looked like to him.
She had/A heart how shall I say? Too soon made glad, / too easily impressed; she liked whateer/she looked on, and her looks went everywhere. / Sir, twas all one! My favor at her breast,/ The dripping of the daylight in the West,/ The bough of cherries some officious fool/ Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule. She roe with round the terrace all and each/ Would draw from her alike the approving speech,/Or brush, at least. (Lines 21-31) tells the reader that the duchess enjoyed the simplest aspects of life such as sundown, cherries and riding her white mule. She had nothing so the tiniest things given to her made her happy. These lines also portray that he is jealous.

| Posted on 2010-03-18 | by a guest


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This poem is the proof of love between husband and wife so that poet express his deep love to his mistress and want to put dust in the eye of the society.To be escaped from his crime of killing of his mistress (mentioned in his autobiograhy)
binod

| Posted on 2010-02-05 | by a guest


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I understand the poem now, but I still need help writing my paper for it.

| Posted on 2010-01-28 | by a guest


.: :.

The Duke of Ferrara: His character is characterized by callousness, his grotesquely avarious personality. We can draw from the poem that he views his wife as a prize, whose beauty, paint could not hope to reproduce. You can also draw that he thinks his greatest gift to her was his 900 year old name (this noble title), and the wealth that comes with it.
im a 9th grader at KGS:):):)check out ma answer yo ;)
If you look at the first part you can see how he views his wife as being beautiful and tells sort of, why he wanted her as his wife. She was beautiful, kind hearted, and easy to please. But as the poem goes on there is a different twist to it. It shows how when she received these lavish gifts of his he didnt really win over her love, he wasnt special.
We can draw from the poem that he views his wife as a prize, whose beauty, paint could not hope to reproduce. You can also draw that he thinks his greatest gift to her was his 900 year old name (this noble title), and the wealth that comes with it.
If you look at the first part you can see how he views his wife as being beautiful and tells sort of, why he wanted her as his wife. She was beautiful, kind hearted, and easy to please. But as the poem goes on there is a different twist to it. It shows how when she received these lavish gifts of his he didnt really win over her love, he wasnt special.
The sole speaker in Robert Brownings My Last Duchess is, ostensibly, the Duke of Ferrara. Readers learn this through the inclusion of the city name, which prefaces the speakers monologue. The duke speaks of the duchess in the past tense and specifically indicates that she is no longer alive. Her fate, as well as his character, is revealed entirely through the information he supplies his listener. No other character contributes to the conversation, making Brownings poem a dramatic monologue.

| Posted on 2009-12-02 | by a guest


.: :.

Thanks alot guys, because i didn't understand a thing and yall all just helped me understand now i can write my paper and even help my friend THANK YOU!
-Mary

| Posted on 2009-09-14 | by a guest


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this is one of the many of browning's greates poems of all time. It gives the reader, insight into the duke's mind and how he thinks and also goes into depth about the duke's perception of women; how he just objectifies them.

| Posted on 2009-08-03 | by a guest


.: :.

i'm not sure if anyone realized when reading this, but many people are saying that, in the poem, he doesn't say that the duchess was killed but he does. Near the end it says "Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands' Then all smiles stopped together." He's saying, he didn't feel as special to her as he'd like, she didn't treat him like he meant EVERYTHING to her, it grew on him, so he gave commands for her to be killed, she then stopped smiling altogether.

| Posted on 2009-07-31 | by a guest


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Hi, I had to analyse this text for English and I had no idea what it was about. I just wanted to thank all you guys for putting up your opinions on this poem. After reading it all, I finally understand it and I'm starting to really appreciate the depth it has. THANKS SO MUCH!

| Posted on 2009-06-16 | by a guest


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MY LAST DUCHESS..
THE POEM CLEARLY TALKS ABOUT THE ARISTOCRATIC AS WELL AS CRUEL CHARACTER OF THE DUKE,HE WAS POWER LOVING,HE WAS UNABLE TO APPRECIATE THE SIMPLICITY OF HIS LATE DUCHESS,HE COULD NOT STOOP TO EXPLAIN HER THE CAUSES OF HIS DISGUST AND MAKE HER DISCIPLINED, BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT TO BE BELOW HIS DIGNITY, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, HE WS NOT AT ALL SHAMEFULL TO TALK ABT THE MONEY WHICH HE WOULD BE GETTING AS DOWRY FOR HIS MARRIAGE WITH THE COUNT'S DAUGHTER..IT DOSNT AFFECT HIS DIGINITY..HE IS A CONNOISSIEUR OF ART AS WELL AS AN ADMIRER OF TAMING OTHERS ACORDIN TO HIS WILL

| Posted on 2009-06-12 | by a guest


.: :.

MY LAST DUCHESS..
THE POEM CLEARLY TALKS ABOUT THE ARISTOCRATIC AS WELL AS CRUEL CHARACTER OF THE DUKE,HE WAS POWER LOVING,HE WAS UNABLE TO APPRECIATE THE SIMPLICITY OF HIS LATE DUCHESS,HE COULD NOT STOOP TO EXPLAIN HER THE CAUSES OF HIS DISGUST AND MAKE HER DISCIPLINED, BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT TO BE BELOW HIS DIGNITY, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, HE WS NOT AT ALL SHAMEFULL TO TALK ABT THE MONEY WHICH HE WOULD BE GETTING AS DOWRY FOR HIS MARRIAGE WITH THE COUNT'S DAUGHTER..IT DOSNT AFFECT HIS DIGINITY..HE IS A CONNOISSIEUR OF ART AS WELL AS AN ADMIRER OF TAMING OTHERS ACORDIN TO HIS WILL

| Posted on 2009-06-12 | by a guest


.: :.

Point Proof Comment Guid to My Last Dutchess
Point - the duke gove the same value of the statue of neptune to his last duchess
Proof - At the start he asks the visator ( marrage aranger) to admire his portrait and the at the end he asks the visator to admire the statue of neptune.
Comment - Use of personal prounouns My Me
Point - She liked lots of other men
Proof - To easily impressed she liked what ever she look on, and he looks went everywhere
Comment - The dutchess liked to flurt alot ?
Point - Duchess is a thank full peron
Proof - Too soon made glad
Comment - She was thanks full of ever little gift given to her
Point Duke is jelous
Proof - my gift of a nin-hundred-year-old name
Comment - the duke thought that his gift was the best and was jelous that lesser gift got the same reewards for the duchess
Point - Duke lacks in confidents
Proof - ( Havent found evidence yet )
Coomment - he is afrade he will lose his wife to anouther man
Point - The duke is very power consius (controling)
Proof - My last duchess
Comment - Possesive words My

| Posted on 2009-06-07 | by a guest


.: :.

Point Proof Comment Guid to My Last Dutchess
Point - the duke gove the same value of the statue of neptune to his last duchess
Proof - At the start he asks the visator ( marrage aranger) to admire his portrait and the at the end he asks the visator to admire the statue of neptune.
Comment - Use of personal prounouns My Me
Point - She liked lots of other men
Proof - To easily impressed she liked what ever she look on, and he looks went everywhere
Comment - The dutchess liked to flurt alot ?
Point - Duchess is a thank full peron
Proof - Too soon made glad
Comment - She was thanks full of ever little gift given to her
Point Duke is jelous
Proof - my gift of a nin-hundred-year-old name
Comment - the duke thought that his gift was the best and was jelous that lesser gift got the same reewards for the duchess
Point - Duke lacks in confidents
Proof - ( Havent found evidence yet )
Coomment - he is afrade he will lose his wife to anouther man
Point - The duke is very power consius (controling)
Proof - My last duchess
Comment - Possesive words My

| Posted on 2009-06-07 | by a guest




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