Wednesday, May 29, 2019
My Last Duchess :: Robert Browning, My Last Duchess
Robert Browning is the author of My Last Duchess and he shows the audience how it is a spectacular monologue. In a class lecture, the professor had mentioned that the meter is set in the 15th century. During that time, it was common for a young woman to be arranged in a marriage. As the poem unfolds, the audience learns the speaker of the poem, Duke Ferrara, is talking to another male character and begins to tell the story of his previous wife. As they are stand up in front of the portrait of the Dukes last wife, now dead, the Duke talks close to her imperfections. The reader discovers that the ex-wifes imperfections were qualities such as generosity, courtesy to those who served her, and an overall respected woman. What follows are examples on the nature and personality of the Duke.Browning lets the reader to believe that the Duke has found flaws of his previous wife because she did not respect his rank and his power. More importantly, the Duke did not approve the conduct of his previous wife and will tolerate it again. As the story begins, the Duke is speaking to the other male character about the portrait of his previous wife. A painter by the name of Fra Pandolf had painted the portrait and it is said that Pandolfs hands may have wandered as well. The following lines can make the audience wonder about the relationship between Pandolf and the Dukes ex-wife. That piece a wonder, now Fra Pandolfs hands / Worked busily a day, and there she stands (lines 3-4). The Duke is now left to wonder that if his ex-wife and Pandolf may have had a relationship of some sort. In the poem, the Duke does not reveal the painting to any person. He is the only person that is allowed to reveal the portrait from the curtains that cover it. Although he does not show anyone the portrait, the Duke had revealed the painting to the other character. The depth and passion of its earnest glanceBut to myself they turned (since none puts byThe curtain I have pull for you, but I) And see med as they would ask me, if they durst (8-11). The audience is learning very early in the poem that the Duke questioned his relationship with the Duchess in the portrait. It is at this moment in the poem that the Duke begins to tell the reasons he did not trust his ex-wife.