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AnalysisofMyLastDuchessbyRobertBrowning::RobertBrowning,MyLastDuchess

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AnalysisofMyLastDuchessbyRobertBrowning

Length:576words(1.6doublespacedpages)
Rating:Red(FREE)

Adramaticmonologueisapoeminwhichasinglespeakerwhoisnot
thepoetrecitestheentirepoematacriticalmoment.Thespeaker
hasalistenerwithinthepoem,butthereaderofthepoemisalsoone
ofthespeakerslisteners.Inadramaticmonologue,thereaderlearns
aboutthespeaker'scharacterfromwhatthespeakersays.Robert
Browningissaidtohaveperfectedthisformofwriting.Oneofhis
mostfamousdramaticmonologuesis"MyLastDuchess."
ThespeakerinthepoemisanItaliandukewhoorderedthemurderof
hiswifeandisattheoffsetofthepoemshowingofftheportraitto
hisfuturesoninlaw.Browningletsthereaderknowinaroundabout
waythatthedukeonlyshowstheportraitofhislatewifetoselect
strangers.Indoingthis,thespeakerisabletoshowoffhiswealthto
thestrangerandheseemstoenjoytellingthesepeoplethestoryof
howheorderedhertodeath.Thespeakertriestoconveytothe
peoplethatheshowstheportraittothatheisincontrolof
everythingthattakesplaceinhishousehold.Inlines89,thespeaker
interjects"sincenoneputsbyThecurtainIhavedrawnforyou"In
thisline,thespeakerissayingthathedoesn'tdrawthecurtainfor
justanyone.Hehasdrawnthecurtainparticularlyforhisfuture
soninlawandheshouldfeelprivilegedbecausetheportraitcanonly
beseenunderthespeaker'scompletecontrol.
TheDukebelievesthatheshouldbeshowncompleterespectandbe
thecenterofattentionwhileinhishome.TheDukethoughthiswife
shouldbeforhimandhispleasuresonly.HedidnotlikeitwhenFra
Pandolf,theartistwhopaintedtheportraitsaid:
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AnalysisofMyLastDuchessbyRobertBrowning::RobertBrowning,MyLastDuchess

"FraPandolfchancedtosay'Hermantlelaps
Overmylady'swristtoomuch,'or,'Paint
Mustneverhopetoreproducethefaint
Halfflushthatdiesalongherthroat."
totheduchessinlines1618.Andthenagaininlines2728,theduke
tellsabouthowsome"officiousfool"broughthercherriesfromthe
orchard.

Thedukealsocouldnotstandthefactthattheduchesstreated
everyoneandeverygiftequally"allandeach/Woulddrawfromher
aliketheapprovingspeech,/Orblush,atleast"(lines2931).The

dukethoughtofhiswifeasoneofhispossessionsandshecould
neverbetreatedashisequal"E'enthenwouldbesomestooping
andIchoose/Nevertostoop"(lines4243).Nowherportraitis
behindacurtainandhehasabsolutepoweroverit,justlikehe
thoughtheshouldhavehadoverhiswifewhileshewasalive.Inlines
5456,BrowningalludestoGreekmythologywhilemakingthe
comparisonofhowtheduketamedhiswifelikeNeptuneandthe
seahorse"NoticeNeptune,though/Tamingaseahorse,thoughta
rarity,/WhichClausofInnsbruckcastinbronzeforme!"

Theduketriedtohavecontroloverhishouseholdatalltimesandit
seemslikeheistryingtoconveythattohisfuturesoninlaw.Heis
alsotalkingtoaservantasthereaderfindsoutattheendofthe

poem.Thereadercouldtakethatastheduketryingtotellthepeople
inhishouseholdthatheistheultimatepowerofthehouseaswellthe
peoplethatliveinit.

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MLACitation:
"AnalysisofMyLastDuchessbyRobertBrowning."123HelpMe.com.02May2016
<http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=78374>.

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