Analysis Of The Duke In Browning's "My Last Duchess"

753 words - 4 pages

Analysis of Duke

In "My Last Duchess", by Robert Browning, the character of Duke is portrayed as having controlling, jealous, and arrogant traits. These traits are not all mentioned verbally, but mainly through his actions. In the beginning of the poem the painting of the Dukes wife is introduced to us: "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,/ looking as of she were still alive" (1-2). These lines leave us with the suspicion that the Duchess is no longer alive, but at this point were are not totally sure. In this essay I will discuss the Dukes controlling, jealous and arrogant traits he possesses through out the poem.

Duke is portrayed as being a very controlling gentleman. He ...view middle of the document...

I interpreted this as meaning that he thought she was a little to flirtatious: "All and each would draw from her alike the approving speech,/ or blush at least" (29-31). Duke found these faults in her to be too hard to bare so it seems he arranged her death: "Oh sir, she smiled no doubt,/ when're I passed her, but who passed without,/ much the same smile?...all smiles stopped (43-46). These lines definitely show his jealousy and rage and give us the idea that he arranged her death.

The Dukes arrogance was shown to us through his verbal comments and actions throughout this poem: "Somehow, I know not how...as if she ranked/ My gift of nine-hundred-years-old name/ With anybody's gift"(32-34). He acted as if his name was really important. It sounds almost as if he thinks he did her a favor by marring her and giving her the privilege of carrying on his name. " I choose/ never to stoop" (42-43). This comment suggests that he is too important to be bothered by little annoyances such as those. "Even had you...

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