The Painting of Th Duchess

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Brittney Lynch “The Painting of the Duchess” “My Last Duchess” is a dramatic monologue written by Robert Browning in the year 1842, and was published in his collection Dramatic Lyrics the same year. In this poem, the Duke of Ferrara discusses his first wife while negotiating terms for a second marriage with a representative serving the Count of Tyrol. Browning uses characterization, setting, conflict, and symbolism to reveal the theme of the arrogant, authoritarian, proud mindset of the Duke. The speaker in the monologue “My Last Duchess” is the Duke of Ferrara. In this poem, the Duke states that he is entertaining an emissary who has come to negotiate his marriage to the daughter of another powerful family. As he guides the visitor through his palace, the Duke shows the Count of Tyrol a portrait of his late wife, who died in 1564 he says to him “Will’t please you sit and look at her? (5). While discussing the portrait with his visitor, the duke also discusses his relationship with his deceased wife reminiscing about her disgraceful, unappreciative, and flirty behavior. The Duke explained to his guest “she like whate’er / she looked on, and her looks went everywhere. (23-24. But what we shortly notice is he is revealing himself, knowingly or not as a forceful husband who regarded his beautiful wife as a simple object, a possession whose single mission was to please him. The Duchess; the late wife of the Duke, on the other hand was not aware of the implications of her conduct were displeasing him. Her actions were not intentional; she was simply trying to satisfy the Duke whatever which way she possibly could. For example the Duke says: “such stuff /was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough/ for calling up that spot of joy” (19-21). Even though the Duke implies that she enjoyed the company of other men and says that she was an unfaithful spouse, his
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