An Analysis of My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

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An Analysis of My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

“My Last Duchess” is written as a dramatic monologue, which is a poem

that is read as if on stage, talking to an audience or character in a

play. This method of writing has been used because the poem wants to

give one perspective, the Duke’s, in an effective manner. By using

this technique, Browning is also silencing the antagonist, the

Duchess, and becoming the protagonist. The rhyming scheme consists of

rhyming couplets, which give the poem a sense of order, and make the

speaker, the Duke in this case, seem well educated and in control of

their emotions and actions.

These methods of writing help show the character of the protagonist

and the way he viewed the traditions during the Victorian times.

There are two different views in which this poem can be interpreted,

the Marxist, and the feminist. The Marxist view interprets the poem as

if the Duke thinks of everything as his object, and the feminist

viewpoint makes the Duke look as if he doesn’t treat the Duchess as he


The Duke’s personality is revealed by different aspects in the poem,

for example the rhyming scheme, rhyming couplets, makes the poem flow

more easily, which leaves no gaps for interruption. This shows the

Duke’s love of being the centre of attention and being in control.

The Duke also shows this keenness of control when he says the painting

is of “my last Duchess”, showing he treated her as just another

article in his collection of art. The Duke also mentions Frà Pandolph

in his conversation with the count’s servant, showing he is proud of

the painting he has of the Duchess and he is showing off about having

a great artist to paint this picture that he calls “a wonder”.


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abuses and unhealthy attainment of material goods in the Victorian

society. The Duke is shown to be a very materialistic person in the

way he speaks of the Duchess as if she were an object he had acquired

instead of a loving wife.

I said

`Frá Pandolph’ by design:

This shows the Duke’s materialism, because he is showing off about

having such a good artist paint a picture of his last Duchess. The

Duke also takes innocent, worthless things, to us, like his

“nine-hundred-years-old name”, which she, according to the Duke, took

from him like it was anything else she had been given before by a man.

Near the end of the poem, the Duke’s love of control and materialism

is summed up in one passage, in which he thinks himself as a powerful

God taming a beautiful, excitable animal:

Notice Neptune, though,

Taming a seahorse, thought a rarity.
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