top of page

My Last Duchess; Robert Browning

Updated: Aug 25, 2021


Set in Renaissance Italy, Europe in the early sixteenth century 'My Last Duchess' is an excellent dramatic monologue and also the certainties of a self-denying man is chosen for as he presents a wedding instructor and portrait of his late wife 'My Last Duchess’.

Plotted in alliterative couplets or the heroic couplets, as distinct long writing, 'My Last Duchess' is one in all the best representations of Browning's talent for exhibiting character and this traces as a potent part of subconscious poetry.


Analyzing notable figures of the time Browning has researched into sure characters of Renaissance Europe to assist along with his poetic attempts. This dramatic monologue, little doubt is a work of art of the genre.

The mysterious, pretentious and egotistic feats fit with the language with a cryptic of the person who is being questioned for killing his spouse for the reason that she was too sympathetic and open-hearted.

The strength to stay the reader on the rope of conjecture is wherever the genius of Browning lies. There's no noble reason created, throughout the obscure monologue.

The period, when girls were taken additional as assets during a wedding than real humans capable of affection, ‘My Last Duchess’ was written within the Victorian age. Browning moderately wrote the literary composition to envision the sights of male and their domination, wedding state of ladies prevalent within the society.

The literary composition shows to be a description of the imagination of a man's attempt to interpret an image, which is behind the veils. Then having the ability to persuade himself of the reality; the truth that may conjointly rather be one lengthy lie; an induction for the persistence of management over his first spouse.


The incident the poem begins from the life of Alfonso II, a lord of Spanish birth who was the Duke of Ferrara in Italy during the sixteenth century. Lucrezia, the girl of a man who later became pope, was mentioned to be the primary spouse of Alfonso.

The court of Ferrara was turned by Lucrezia into a resort for performers of Renaissance together with the eminent master Titian Venetian painter. Although she died solely 3 years into the marriage—to get replaced, as the literary composition suggests, by the girl of the Count of Tyrol—As a sequel, Ferrara became model of the appreciative waking up that was going down throughout Italy.

"That's my last Duchess painted on the wall, / wanting as if she were alive."

What is Dramatic Monologue?

A poetic kind attendant essentially with Browning. The dramatic monologue is a literary structure within which the speaker is the true focus of the literary composition.

The problem areas are being talked by the characters within the composition, and the temperament and psychological science of the speaker are learnt preponderantly by the readers.


Browning was conjointly concerned in playwriting and his writings were far more influenced by this. Venerable was the custom of monologues in theatre and Browning intellectually embraced this monologue character to poetry.

'The Ring and the Book', here a brief style of the monologue is grasped and he takes the short monologue type and confers it to multiple characters who put together reveal the story of a murder. Browning practices his dramatic monologue to investigate a mystery.

The themes of My Last Duchess.

The literary composition “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning twirls around the theme of prudence, recklessness and supervision.


In the attachment, there was swamped feeling of suspicion with the poet spouse. The point that people were attracted by his spouse and also the approach she reacted to their charm with smiles. And furthermore as a result of this attention, his spouse is not any longer alive and there's a doubt that the spouse has been ordered to be killed by him. This suspicion and possessiveness thus become the trail to madness.


The writer appears to be firm mentally. His experience has been clouded by jealousy and as a consequence, he ends up to be the killer of his spouse. The writer beyond any doubt becomes an extremely possessed, that he even cannot stand seeing others, who view the painting of his spouse.


The converser is obliged to talk, by the writer and with the portrayed of the woman a full monologue is being ignited. Constant dominant boldness is seen while talking with the dutchess. With this, we will also say that despite however jealous the writer was, he conjointly chooses to be controlled.

Character Study; My Last Duchess

The character of the Duke of Ferrara is unveiled to be harsh, resentful, arrogant and gratified. He's actually a persona of Alfonso. In the literary work, he's assumed to murder his spouse for the explanation that she was favourable to others and not obliged to him for marrying her.

There is frequently seen a justifying act within the behaviour of Duke and his act of killing unveils that he really has no feeling.


The character of the Dutchess is said to be of Lucrezia De’ Medici. The Duchess of Ferrara was such a woman who might be delighted utterly. According to the duke, she didn't enjoy the closeness of the Duke and welcome everybody with a smile that wasn't liked by the Duke. The entire character of the Duchess is told solely by the speaker. She is additionally described as optimistic and passionate.

What is the tone of My Last Duchess?

The tone is something that asks the access of the speaker. Egotistical, intense, mysterious is what the tone of the poem 'The Last Dutchess’.In the literary composition, the readers' are perceived concerning the painting of the poet’s late spouse.

The writer scrutinises concerning his wife; her hospitable perspective which she delighted of her life and conjointly her inclination to smile at others who comprehended her.

The speaker conjointly conditions without sensation that whenever he ordered, his wife’s smile barred; this somewhence hint at that he made her gradually to death.

The Duke proves his intent to be agitated by writing that “She ranked my gifts…with anybody's gift”. He conjointly declares that by marrying her he rendered her a present of nobility; therefore she savours such a high social position.


A tone of undercover is additionally boosted with the use of several dictions. too simply impressed” with this comment the duke explains still she was charmed simply by anyone. The words that were most popular by Browning within the dramatic monologue forces the readers to place confidence in that was obtaining tough for the Duke to command such a flirty nature. There is no refuting that Robert Browning delivered a strange, haunting and suspicious tone throughout the literary composition “My Last Duchess’.

Literary Devices

A vivacious image is sent within the mind of the one that reads with the utilization of images within the literary work. The literary work brings into being with the lines; “That's my last duchess painted on the wall, / trying as if she were alive, “where the reader might distinctly conceive the portrait of the duchess.

The applause of the painter Fra Pandolf is additionally discussed touching by the expression “Must ne'er hope to reproduce the faint /Half-flush that dies along her throat “causing within the increasing jealousy of the duke. Allusion, relating to another text or art, conjointly dispute a significant role within the fruits of the literary work whereas denoting to the Roman god Neptune. The listener’s thoughtfulness is agitated to the sculpture of Neptune’s domestication a seahorse. This could even be seen as a single to require command over the fewer powerful. Other figures of speech, metaphors, terms and analogies are time utilized by Browning to imply the character of the speaker. The speaker implores guilty his act of killing the spouse, admit his careless confession lets the reader understand the careless panorama of him.

Lines 47-56 explained

The Duke is shortly seen addressing the indulgence towards the approaching wedding as the poem pulls a lot nearer. He's guaranteed to get a sumptuous dowry from his wife’s father. Moreover, he says that he yearns to be seen as giving more courtesy to his bride-to-be that the money that would come back on within the wedding.

And this is often the time when the readers become additional eager about the welfare of the miss. The picture of the god 'Neptune’ is employed to conclude the literary work.

"Notice Neptune, though Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!"

The relationship between the Duke delineated by Neptune and therefore the Last Duchess described by seahorse is verified with the image of god taming the seahorse.

With this, the Duke conditions his power of dominant his future spouse. The completion is created by displaying the Duke's want for the unique lovely beauty and his ability to accomplish the need.

My Last Duchess: Analysis

The dramatic announcement of character creates the literary work notable in its own approach. The literary work is performed way more convincing and dramatic with the utilization of normal language, conversational words, the rhythms, the terribly typical state of affairs and plenty of such options.

The literary work is severe initially sight. It is ground, and short. The realism behind the story might be understood solely by a vital mind. The readers see the Duke momentum off his own faux mask.


The theme and magnificence of the literary work are usually loved for. The greed and therefore the distrust of the Duke as a husband is revealed once he tells the readers that the Duchess use to smile at each alternative person and it absolutely was not just for her husband.

The values of elegance are additionally disclosed through the character. The literary work is well outlined factually and expressively. The Duchess maybe a character with natural aptitude. The Duke, on the opposite facet, is given the symbol of Renaissance philosopher.

The person together with his pride eagerness, and absence of human values. The ultimate human degradation is displayed that results from the conquest of human values within the Victorian world with the killing of the Duchess by the Duke. Hence Browning's literary work expresses the whole social background of up to date world steals and it doesn't stay simply a study of the Renaissance.

552 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page