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My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Essay

In poem My Last Duchess, Robert Browning wants his readers to understand the conflict of art and morality. In the poem, the narrator talks about his dead wife, using eloquent words as though his word itself is a painting, but beneath his beautiful words, he tells a story of why and how he killed his wife, “I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together” (Browning 2). He killed his wife because, she doesn’t appreciate him as much as he would like her to appreciate him, “as if she ranked/ My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name/ With anybody’s gift” (Browning 2).

The significance of Browning’s title to the theme of the poem is the engagement of art and morality of the poem and the actions of the narrator, he wants his readers to understand the beauty of the poem and question the actions of the narrator. Browning wants to know weather the readers will deem his poetry elegant despite of the fact that the narrator in the poem killed his wife. Works cited Browning, Robert. My Last Duchess and Other Poems. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. (1993).


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