My Last Duchess

Topics: My Last Duchess, Robert Browning, Dramatic monologue Pages: 3 (904 words) Published: December 4, 2013
“My Last Duchess”
When reading “My Last Duchess” at first it was quite confusing. The narrator doesn’t finish his thoughts at the ending of every line which kept me guessing and trying to piece it all together. After reading it the third time I finally came to understand exactly what he was trying to say. The narrator was a troubled powerful man who was showing off a piece of art to another man, but little did he know at first what exactly that painting meant. First, I would like to describe a little bit about the poem. The narrator was a Duke, and his last duchess was a beautiful young woman, but she was too intrigued by everything she saw. She was also, “too nice” in his eyes, because the smile she always gave him for his brilliance, he could see she would also give it to the world. In the beginning of the poem the narrator is already speaking to a man and showing off his painting on the wall done by Fra Pandolf. He makes sure he states the artist name because he know he will soon be asked the question of how he captured such a wonderful painting. The Duke goes on to say: “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
Fra 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.” (12-21)
The Duke is there stating how he knows his duchess was so naïve and so delighted by such flirting and by a man just simply being nice enough to give her a compliment that she would suddenly blush and smile. You can then come to see that the narrator is a jealous man and probably insecure as well. He did not like to share, nor did he like to be belittled or made a fool. I wouldn’t say that he was a bad man, but more of a complicated soul....
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