A literary analysis of the poem my last duchess by robert browning

It also provides an insight into the psychological state of the speaker.

my last duchess context

Symbolism : Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings different from literal meanings.

These details are revealed throughout the poem, but understanding them from the opening helps to illustrate the irony that Browning employs.

My last duchess analysis line by line

Throughout the ambiguous monologue there is no moral judgement made; the audacious nature of the duke isn't questioned, we don't know if he's creating more untruths by pretending to reveal the truth. To some extent, the duke's amorality can be understood in terms of aristocracy. And this disgusts the duke. Who he addresses is unknown at first but later it becomes clear that the listener is an envoy marriage broker, emissary representing another aristocrat. When she defied her father's demands and married Robert Browning, she became dead to her father and he never saw her again… unless, of course, he kept a picture of Elizabeth on his wall. Like the duke who coveted his precious artwork, Barrett's father wanted to keep hold of his children as if they were inanimate figures in a gallery. And that's when the dramatic monologue begins: That's my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. By no means can we justify the idea that the duke is willing to transcend class, but at the same time he does allow a transgression of the very hierarchy that had previously led him to have his wife murdered rather than discuss his problems with her. The duke had the smiles stopped - does this mean he had someone murder his wife? She appreciated nature, the kindness of others, animals, and the simple pleasures of everyday life. Step 3 Tenderly wrap her long, golden hair around her throat. He's the only one allowed to move the curtain, implying control and possession over the duchess, even in death. The speaker thinks the picture a wonder, now perhaps because he's had a little time to digest it and ponder on the fact that his wife is no more. After all, the duke has no interest in talking to her himself, as we have learned! Thus the temporal setting allows Browning to again explore sex, violence, and aesthetics as all entangled, complicating and confusing each other: the lushness of the language belies the fact that the Duchess was punished for her natural sexuality.

She had A heart — how shall I say? There she stands As if alive. If the duke executed a lustful, adulterous wife, that would still make him a bad guy, but a different sort of bad guy: a vengeful cuckold. How else could she have sex with the sun?

my last duchess characters

The courtier is impressed, perhaps even mesmerized by the smile of the woman in the painting and he asks what produced such an expression. Though written in"My Last Duchess" is set in the 16th-century.

my last duchess tone
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SparkNotes: Robert Browning’s Poetry: “My Last Duchess”