The Last Duchess By Robert Browning

Decent Essays

Art is not just a form of beauty but also a form of power. In it lies deep meaning and value and often tells a story. Robert Browning’s poem “The Last Duchess” portrays this power of art, which is evident in how the Duke captures more than just the image of his former wife in the painting. To him the painting represents his control and power and tells the tale of his former wife in the way he speaks of the painting. An analysis of the poem “My Last Duchess” will reveal how the Duke uses art to further the narrative of this poem through symbolism, reveal the relationship with his former wife and control others.
The writer of this poem Robert Browning is a master at captivating the potential of the dramatic monologue, here art is expressed by symbolism and it is used as a structure for the poem. The speaker of this poem who is the Duke holds himself in high esteem and loves the control his position gives him as an authority. Accordingly, the Duke shows admiration for his former wife who he killed when he says “that’s my last duchess on the wall” (line 1). Here he admires her more as an object of art than he did in reality. The Duke uses art as an image that symbolizes his control and dominance over his former wife; more so he not only uses the painting of his wife to express his control but also the sculpture of Neptune “taming a sea-horse” (line 55) as an image at the end to emphasize and make his point clear that he is very controlling and possessive. Aside from the

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