My last duchess critical essay

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The poem opens with the narrator who is most likely the Duke, addressing an emissary of the count regarding a portrait of his late wife or the last duchess. While negotiating with the emissary concerning his second marriage to Barbara, the Duke shows him a portrait of his last duchess painted by a friar named Pandolf. The former Duchess, according to the Duke had the habit of smiling at everybody and everything. Without elaborating, the Duke beckons the envoy to accompany him downstairs and on the way, points at the bronze statue of the God, Neptune taming an innocent sea horse thereby, providing him an obvious hint of his authoritative personality. Throughout the poem, the Duke gives ample instances of the enormous power he exercises. Even art objects serve as tools of demonstrating power; the portrait of the Duchess seem to endow the Duke the uncanny feat of controlling the lifeless duchess.
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The Poem “My Last Duchess”

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The Poem “My Last Duchess" - Free Essay Example | northminster.info

These words are perfect text examples of the way she thought of her husband and ruining the trust that she had in him. The author of the website Act Four Scene Two interprets what Lady Macduff felt of her husband leaving, "Her metaphor shows that she knows that Macduff, by himself, wouldn 't have much of a chance against Macbeth and all the powers a king can command. In such a fight Macduff would be the wren and Macbeth the owl, the bird of night at her and death. Even so, she 's angry with her…. This made the father of the future wife begin to assume that the Duke had killed his late wife due to the behaviors she exhibited. Since the Duke had been so strict towards his wife, the father expected that he would be the same towards his future wife.
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Analysis of My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

During the Renaissance a period which Browning based his characters society as was a time that was largely seen as patriarchal, and so the duke would typically want to conform to this norm. The Duke shows a sociopathic attitude, being so controlling over her wife up to the point where he has her murdered just for being nice to other people but him. Constant repetition of possessive pronouns suggests the very strong sense of ownership of the Duke.
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But why, nearly two centuries later, are we revisiting this poem? Browning uses his poetry, specifically works like My Last Duchess to explore the dark, rather evil side of the human condition — an ever relevant topic to suit a contemporary. At the start of the poem the Duke is looking at a picture of his deceased wife, the Duchess.
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