Ideas Revealed Within ' My Last Duchess '

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Ideas Revealed within “My Last Duchess” In Robert Browning’s poem, “My Last Duchess,” the author writes of a Duke who seems to admit to murdering his last duchess. The poem starts with the Duke introducing the painting of his last duchess to an emissary. He goes on to claim that she was unfaithful and believes that she was flirting with the artist of her portrait. The Duke insists that he should be the only one that has her attention. Throughout the poem, the Duke’s ego is revealed and he implies that he executed his own wife (Browning 1016-1017). “My Last Duchess” is filled with ambiguous claims which calls the reader to examine every possibility. This is difficult considering there is only one speaker, the Duke, in the poem. The three things that are discovered when a reader dives deeper into Browning’s poem, “My Last Duchess”, are the dysfunction of the Duke and Duchess’ relationship, the reason for the Duke’s vanity, and the misrepresented Duchess. Throughout the poem, many hints and clues are given that show dysfunction in the Duke’s and Duchess’ relationship. The Duke and Duchess have a failing relationship because of childlessness and lack of communication (Hawlin 146). Browning’s Duke is based off of the real Duke of Ferrara who never had any children (Gardner “Duke” 169). Not only as a man but as a duke with a age-old family name, not providing an heir would be shaming. If the Duchess is “fooling around”, Gardner claims that the Duke reveals his impotence

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