My Last Duchess By Robert Browning

886 WordsFeb 21, 20164 Pages
My Last Duchess The dramatic monologue “My Last Duchess” was penned down by Robert Browning. In this poem, the narrator is the Duke of Ferrara, and the listener is the count’s agent, through whom the Duke is arranging the proposed marriage to a second duchess. The poem is ironical and reveals its rhetorical sense, gradually. In the later part of the poem, the Duke claims that he does not have a skill in speech, but his monologue is a masterpiece of subtle rhetoric. While supposedly entertaining the listener by showing his wife’s portrait, he clearly reveals his character. Through his formalized tone of rhyme, he reveals his egoistic and jealous attitude. The Duke takes control of the situation entirely as he is the only speaker throughout the poem and his way of speaking leaves no scope for interruption, by the listener. The way he addresses his listener, “That’s my last duchess”, calls attention to the peculiarity of his designation which he indicates in a very proud manner. The apparent pauses throughout the poem, shown by dashes, indicate hesitation as the Duke considers what to say. This clearly suggests his manipulative attitude. As soon as he points towards the standing portrait of his last wife, he asks his listener to sit down –“Will’t please you sit and look at her?” His way of asking is not very polite and is more of a command which shows the psychology of a man with power. As he starts describing the portrait, he praises the painter Fra Pandolf, for
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