Likewise, what he expects of his wives, particularly of this woman whose portrait continues to provide him with fodder for performance, suggests a deeper psychology than one meant solely for criticism. Conflict A well-defined conflict is visible between the aristocratic and reserved behavior of the elite upper class, as represented by the Duke and the carefree and spontaneous demeanor of the upcoming nobility, as delineated by the Duchess. It is important to note that though the characters and setting have a historical context, except the Duke and indirectly the Duchess, the poem hardly throws light on any of the others. A remarkably amoral man nevertheless has a lovely sense of beauty and of how to engage his listener. You have to be aware of this huge mistake. The Duke begins by showing the emissary a portrait of his duchess. His tone goes calmly descriptive to pitifully maniacal.
In every short line that the Duke declares, he shares a factual statement. Dramatic monologue can also be known as a persona poem. The speaker was jealous of the fact that Porphyria had not spent all her time with him and that she had been out in society without him their with her. After the revolutionary war, women plead for equal rights, were denied even after their great contribution. Within literature, characters may seem perfect but upon closer inspection, are deeply flawed.
The poem is highly criticizing the role of women in the Victorian times. If this is how he treats his wives, then it makes us think, heaven help the next female he marries! The reader gets introduced to the memories of the duchess. He keeps her under a curtain, because then the duke can only look upon her. Though there are some select few that are shown her portrait, she cannot speak for herself. He speaks about his dead wife like she is just a pretty painting—never as a human that is living; from there I began to notice the constant use of art as comparisons.
Not to say that Browning did not include symbolic references in the poem but from the standpoint of the Duke he does not express much symbolism. Browning's Father was the owner of a large library of thousands of books, this helped Browning gain an immense literary knowledge. Although the speaker, the Duke of Ferrara, is speaking of this servant in a negative manner, he wishes his wife to be officious towards him; the Duke of Ferrara wishes to have total control. She can be controlled when not alive and on the wall! The representations of the Duchess, which focus on her ever-present smile and easily satisfied nature, come in sharp contrast with the desperate, sputtering language of the Duke as he tries to tell their story on his own terms. As the poem goes on we learn that the main character, the Duke is having a conversation with an emissary regarding his past wife.
The duke speaks his thoughts about the girl, and as the poem progresses we begin to realize that his last duchess had been murdered. Browning's father had a library of thousands of books, this helped Browning develop an immense literary knowledge. She is a strict observer, watching others interact as she merely looks on. Furthermore, the Duke's reaction to the painting reveals his feelings toward his wife as well as about his own personality. The Duke Is without a doubt a very possessive man that does not Like when others take advantage of his so called possessions. This shows the overwhelming control that the duke has over the ouches even after death- he cuts even her portrait off from what she loved: life.
More summaries and resources for teaching or studying My Last Duchess. I found it horrifying that a human being could plan in such a cold and calculating way, but I also found this fascinating. When the Duke believes the Duchess finds involvement in other people beside her hubby. The men in her life overshadow any of her interests, thoughts, or accomplishments. During that time, it was common for a young woman to be arranged in a marriage. The story is a dramatic monologue, which has no brakes. What this could suggest is that the duchess was in fact guilty of greater transgression than he claims, that instead of flirtation, she might have physically or sexually betrayed him.
Because she is never described as having a voice, she is almost forced into being a mere inanimate object even while alive, as opposed to a living, opinionated, or interactive human being. The Duchess would often share that smile with everyone, instead of reserving it exclusively for the Duke. The speaker has a listener within the poem, but the reader of the poem is also one of the speakers listeners. This creates to a closeness and intimacy which the reader finds sinister. The obvious manifestation of this is the murder of his wife.
Duke is portrayed as being a very controlling gentleman. Although the duke's monologue appears on the surface to be about his late wife, a close reading will show that the mention of his last duchess is merely a side note in his self-important speech. It is as if his power has made him evolve into becoming a very unpleased and domineering husband. Not last does he now have complete control over her, his guests are only allowed to last her when he draws a curtain and permits them to. Setting Browning selects a private art gallery that belongs to the Duke in Renaissance Italy as the setting of his poem. These techniques create gesture in the verse form much like the choler and haughtiness that the Duke exerted towards his asleep married woman to command her.