Analysis Essay My Last Duchess

Analysis of the Duke in Browning's "My Last Duchess" Essay

494 Words2 Pages

Analysis of Duke

In "My Last Duchess", by Robert Browning, the character of Duke is portrayed as having controlling, jealous, and arrogant traits. These traits are not all mentioned verbally, but mainly through his actions. In the beginning of the poem the painting of the Dukes wife is introduced to us: "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,/ looking as of she were still alive" (1-2). These lines leave us with the suspicion that the Duchess is no longer alive, but at this point were are not totally sure. In this essay I will discuss the Dukes controlling, jealous and arrogant traits he possesses through out the poem.

Duke is portrayed as being a very controlling gentleman. He thinks that no one but himself has the authority to…show more content…

These lines suggest that he put a stop to her treating others as if they were equal to him, so he had her murdered. The Dukes words also showed that he liked to have control over others. His comments such as: "Wilt you please rise?" (47) and "Nay we'll go/ together down, sir" (35-36). The Dukes actions and words show that he likes being the one in control.

Jealousy took over the Duke. He never openly accused the Duchess nb of cheating but, in a way, insinuated it. He was under the impression that many man were impressed by her: "The bough of cherries some officious fool/ Broke in the orchard for her" (27-28). This sounded as if men often gave her gifts and it made the Duke furious because he thought that men were attracted to her. I interpreted this as meaning that he thought she was a little to flirtatious: "All and each would draw from her alike the approving speech,/ or blush at least" (29-31). Duke found these faults in her to be too hard to bare so it seems he arranged her death: "Oh sir, she smiled no doubt,/ when're I passed her, but who passed without,/ much the same smile?...all smiles stopped (43-46). These lines definitely show his jealousy and rage and give us the idea that he arranged her death.

The Dukes arrogance was shown to us through his verbal comments and actions throughout this poem: "Somehow, I know not if she ranked/ My gift of nine-hundred-years-old name/ With anybody's gift"(32-34). He acted as if his name

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Essay on my last duchess

684 Words3 Pages

Poets often use literary techniques to clearly convey the personalities of their speakers. In
“My Last Duchess”, Robert Browning uses point of view, diction, and imagery to achieve a powerful effect, underlining the attitude and personality of the Duke.
     In a dramatic monologue, character development is based on what the speaker says, and how he says it. In “My Last Duchess”, the speaker of the monologue addresses a fictional audience, and the reader is seen as an unnoticed third party. It is because of this viewpoint that the reader is able to analyze the words and actions of the Duke, gaining insight into his life and personality that he is not aware of giving. While the poet…show more content…

The Duke’s “trifling lack of countenance” is evident in his jealousy of the duchess’s kindness toward others. Her benevolence “disgusts” the Duke, and causes him to “stoop” down to spouting off
“commands” in her direction. By publicly describing the features that he disliked about the personality of his duchess, he is shown to be a heartless, arrogant man. His complete nonchalant manner about the issue of his wife’s death is also seen through his diction. He seems to care more about impressing his guests than telling them about his wife, as he describes the artwork and artist with such passion. “The piece a wonder, now: Fra
Pandolf’s hands worked busily a day, and there she stands.” He encourages the envoy to
“Please you sit and look at her,” as he had invited many other men to do so. Through the diction used both in describing the Duke and in his own thoughts, the reader sees his arrogant and ruthless nature.     
      Browning’s use of distinct imagery further creates the picture of the Duke as an egotistical, tyrannical, and ruthless man. The Duke, through his words to the envoy and his description of his duchess, proves his own need to be in control. He initially asks his guests to “please you sit and look at her”, later tells his guests that no one may draw the curtain, and in the end commands them to “please rise” and go downstairs. These commands paint the Duke as a man

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