Analysis of My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Essay

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My Last Duchess by Robert Browning is a dramatic monologue about a duke who is showing the portrait of his first wife, the duchess, to a servant of his future father-in-law, the Count. In a dramatic monologue, the speaker addresses a distinct but silent audience. Through his speech, the speaker unintentionally reveals his own personality. As such, in reading this poem, the reader finds the duke to be self-centered, arrogant, controlling, chauvinistic and a very jealous man. The more he attempted to conceal these traits, however, the more they became evident. There is situational irony (a discrepancy between what the character believes and what the reader knows to be true) in this because the duke does not realize this is what is …show more content…
He just continues on to brag about who the painter was by mentioning his name more than once (Fra Pandolf's hands Worked busily a day…I said "Fra Pandolf" by design…") This not only shows his apathy, but his arrogance too. The Duke goes on to say that "since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I," (9-10) he is telling the listener that he doesn't open the curtain on the portrait for just anyone. Of course, he is already beginning to show his controlling nature when he makes sure the viewer knows he is privileged to see the portrait. As well, it shows that he wants to have power over his wife in the portrait, which he did not have when she was alive.

As the Duke continues (11-21), it is obvious he was angry about others paying attention to the Duchess. He thought she should be for "his presence only." when he says "Sir, 'twas not Her husband's presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess' cheek:" And then pointed out several comments made by Fra Pandolf, the artist who painted her portrait, "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." The Duke complained because the Duchess "had a heart and was made happy too easily," like when she saw the sunset in the west, or someone gave her cherries, or just rode her white mule around

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