My Last Duchess By Robert Browning Essay

My Last Duchess By Robert Browning Essay

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Robert A. Heinlein said, “A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” told from the perspective of the Duke in the form of a dramatic monolog. It showcases the Duke conversing with the Count’s representative about a hopeful marriage to the Count’s daughter as well as recalling his late wife. The Duke uses the opportunity to express his jealousy towards the Duchess. In “My Last Duchess,” a poem by Robert Browning, the Duke expresses the theme of jealousy to hide his inner struggle of insecurity.


Marriage is based on trust and if that fails insecurity comes into play based on taking their own problems and twisting them into their partner’s flaws. The Duke experiences internal conflict through jealousy he holds towards the Duchess while she was alive, and even in death. The Duke expresses his jealousy because of the need for attention. In the Duke’s eyes, the Duchess had faults that he could not ignore. One fault being that the way the Duchess interacted with people. The character the Duke spoke of how she did not have a separate way of looking at him and that she treated everyone the same no matter who they were. To the readers that would seem to be a positive trait, but the Duke saw it as a disgrace. Mr. Robert Browning states in his poem, “A heart how shall I say? Too soon made glad, too easily impressed, she liked whate’er she looked on and her look went everywhere (Browning lines 22-24). The quote explains how the Duchess was easily impressed and how her gaze went on everything she looked upon which made her glad. This references how instead of seeing the Duchess as friendly, he saw her as trying to l...


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...this diabolical way, the Duke does feel immense jealousy, and he can have the love he always wanted. Robert James Reese states in his essay, “The Power of the Duke in My Last Duchess”, “The Duke felt that his wife was too appreciative of the attention that other men paid her.”


In conclusion, Mr. Robert Browning depicts in ‘My Last Duchess” that the Duke is not an ideal husband by referencing how controlling he is over women and other people in his vicinity. Mr. Browning also references the Duke’s jealous and petty actions that make him seem desperate for a way to seek attention. That is why the Duke disposes of her since she was not giving him the proper care he wanted he decided that she was not worthy. The Duke is also not an ideal husband based on his views of how disposal women are to him. His jealousy and insecurity lead him to be an unhappy self-centered man.

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