My Last Duchess

Length: 2 Pages 472 Words

In Robert Browing’s monologue “My Last Duchess”, the Duke of Ferrara is displaying the portrait of his late duchess to a servant. From the first two lines of the poem, we are given information that the duchess has passed away, “Looking as if she were alive,” therefor the poem is based on flashback. As the duke shows the portrait to the servant, he also describes how the duchess behaved when she was alive. From his description, the readers get a strong feeling that the duke is very unsatisfied with his late wife. His criticisms about the duchess can be found throughout the poem. Lines such as: “she liked whate'er/ She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.”(23, 24), “’twas not/He Continue...


The Duke is obviously very jealous of how his wife treats other people, most likely other male. The fact that she should not "look on or blush for other male shows how dominant the duke is. If he "stoop, he will be admitting that the duchess and him have the same level of status; therefore, he would "never stoop. From the line "e'en then would be some stooping; and I chooseNever to stoop, one can tell the duke is very self-centered and arrogant, because he even refuse to communicate with his wife. Near the end of the poem, the readers find out whom the duke has been talking to. r husband's presence only, called that spotOf joy into the Duchess' cheek...(13-15). The way the Duke of Ferrara cruelly describes why he "murdered his own wife show the reader just exactly what kind of person the he is. Therefore when the duchess' eyes does not only land on him, he becomes furious. Although the poem is centered on the duchess, more information about the duke is revealed as readers explore deeper into the piece. As the readers read on, a shocking fact is revealed, which is the duke ordered the death of the duchess. However, he does not seem to have full control over the duchess, and his lack of control is the main reason for his fury and anger toward the duchess.