Essays on My Last Duchess

My Last Duchess
Original title My Last Duchess
Author Robert Browning
Genre Tragedy
Language English
Characters the Duke, the Count, the Countess, the Duchess, the servant
Published 1842
ISBN 978-0-14-024328-5
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

About My Last Duchess Poem

Robert Browning is well known for his poem “My Last Duchess.” A collection of poetry called “Dramatic Lyrics” was released in 1842. It’s clear from the book’s title that Browning’s goal in writing “Dramatic Lyrics” was to experiment with new forms of poetry.

A new form of Victorian poetry was born as a result of his attempts to incorporate elements of theatrical plays with Romantic lines. Robert Browning’s remarkable ability to incorporate psychological and psychopathic reality and harsh language in his poetry frightened his audience. “My Last Duchess” also has examples of these characteristics.

To create this poem, he was inspired by the life and death in 1561 of Alfonso II of Ferrara, a Renaissance duke whose young bride died under unexplained circumstances. After the Duchess passed away, her successor, the Duke of Tyrol, wed the Count of Tyrol’s niece. The poem My Last Duchess is the best one written by this poet.

Book Summary

The Duke of Ferrara is now engaged in conversation with a servant in an effort to win the hand in the marriage of the daughter of a count. No further information is available regarding the Count. And he’s not the Count from Sesame Street – he’s a different character.

During the discussions, the Duke guides the servant onto the upper level of his home, where he has a private art gallery and displays a number of the pieces that are part of his collection.

The first of these items is a painting of his “last” or former Duchess painted by a monk called Pandolf straight on one of the gallery walls. As a result, only the Duke can access this picture, which he keeps hidden behind a curtain.

During the conversation, the Duke tells the story of how the painting was drawn and what happened to his unlucky ex-wife while he sits on a seat next to it. Apparently, the Duchess was a joyful person since she seemed to be as delighted when someone handed her a branch of the cherry when the Duke proposed to her.

She had a tendency to flush quickly as well. The Duke was enraged by the Duchess’s sunny disposition and “gave commands,” ordering “all smiles stopped together.” Obviously, he had her dead, but he likely had her locked away in a convent or something similar.

Most reviewers, however, see it as a murder, making the text much more intense and gripping. It’s only fitting that after relating this tale to the household servant who may or may not be his next victim, the Duke returns him to the cellar to resume their business.

A bronze statue depicting Neptune taming a seahorse is another of the Duke’s favorite works of art, and he shows it to you as you leave the mansion.

My Last Duchess Quotes

Here are a few memorable lines from My Last Duchess:

  •     ”That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, / Looking as if she were alive.”
  •     ”She thanked men … but thanked / Somehow … as if she ranked / My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name / With anybody’s gift.”
  •     ”Your master’s … munificence / Is ample warrant that no just pretense / Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; / Though his fair daughter’s self … / … is my object.”
  •     ”Even had you skill / In speech—which I have not—to make your will / Quite clear to such a one … / … E’en then would be … stooping.” 
  •     ”Notice Neptune, though, / Taming a seahorse, thought a rarity, / Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!”

Essay Structure On My Last Duchess

An essay is a piece of writing in which the author briefly writes about a single topic! It is usually written to persuade the reader by presenting information from various sources. An essay often consists of the following three sections:


After writing a thesis statement and the rest of the essay, begin with an introduction. To capture the audience’s interest, always try to write an engaging and interesting introduction. You may use a tale, dialogue, surprising discovery, a quotation, or a subject overview as a ‘hook’ to get your audience interested.

Robert Browning wrote a magnificent poem, “My Last Duchess,” demonstrating the poet’s habit of incorporating dramatic monologue in his poetry. As the center of the arts, Italy was an ideal setting for the story’s setting in sixteenth-century Italy.

The poem’s plot has distracted the reader’s attention from the brilliance of the image of the Duchess as a work of art, obscuring its significance. While it is true that the image reveals the Duke’s selfishness and sexual hunger, the narrative and poem’s fundamental merit lies in the poet’s extraordinary ability to portray the evil character of the Duke via the Duchess’s portrait.


The body is that part of your writing where a writer is to explain, discuss, or debate the subject of your essay. Outlined concepts are broken down into different paragraphs. It would be best to try to convey your message or thought in each paragraph. For this purpose, use the first line of each paragraph.

Back up the claims, use sentence structure and appropriate data and examples to back up their arguments. Please don’t forget to mention any sources that you utilized. References to specific words or phrases must be properly formatted as well.


This section is just as critical as the introduction. In the conclusion, you have the opportunity to summarize your thoughts and bring the issue to an end. Compose a paragraph of no more than three or five sentences.

Instead of presenting fresh ideas, restate your prior points towards the conclusion of your essay. You have the ability to restate your thesis statement in order to reinforce your stance. In this short poem, Browning shows off his mastery in the skill of fusing sex, violence, and poetry.

Tips To Consider While Writing An Essay About My Last Duchess

The information in this guide will assist you in crafting a solid research paper or essay. Remembering a few simple essay writing rules can help you produce high-quality articles even if you’re short on time.

Read The Book Thoroughly

Before you begin writing, you should read the essay question word by word. If you’re not paying attention to the small things, you’ll miss out on the big ones. Do you need to prepare a speech or an essay for this assignment?

The question is whether or not they state that you require a certain number of connected texts. In order to avoid this step, you may just do it while reading. The book reading helped to understand the character sketch of Duke in my last Duchess.

Find A Compelling Topic

Analyze the key themes in my last Duchess you’ve discovered. Is this something you’d want to write about? Scholars have discovered that the more passionate they are about a topic, the simpler it is for them to do research and write about that topic.

You won’t be able to write about it in-depth or engagingly if your subject is too wide. Narrowing your focus will make it harder to locate relevant sources and less likely that you will have enough material to write about. Finally, think about the purpose of your essay.

 Create The Outline

As soon as you have a strong subject line, you need to back it up with more details and examples. Some supporting reasons are provided below to address your subject sentence’s question, “Why?”. More research and brainstorming may be necessary at this point.

In order to make the most sense of these arguments, you may want to put them in order of priority. Your essay’s outline is now complete.

Write The Thesis Statement

It’s time to go to work on your paper now that you have a subject and an outline. The first step is to write a thesis statement that explains what your essay is about. Go back and re-read your outline to help you craft a strong thesis. The subject of your essay and the key argument must be included in your thesis statement.

Include A Lesson Or Moral

Simply put, “My Last Duchess” touches on the age-old question of appearance and reality. In the Duke’s mind, his deceased wife was the perfect lady. She was beautiful, appealing, and had a beautiful smile, making her the ideal bride.

The Duke could have seen a picture of the Duchess before marrying her. And it was from that picture that he deduced her character. For him and the Duchess, the look was considerably different from reality. Fortunately for him.

Because, even though the Duchess had a lovely grin in real life, she showed it out to everyone around her in an unwelcome manner, making her husband feel belittled. The Duke was angry because the Duchess shown in the portrait was not the lady she was in real life.

Unable to cope with reality, Duke took harsh action and had the Duchess executed. But it’s possible that this psychotic tyrant may make the same mistake again when choosing his next bride. When it comes to Duke’s previous marriage, we already know he and the naive Duchess had much to do with its demise.

Conclusion: Proofread Your Work

Make sure your writing is free of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammatical mistakes. Think about how you may make your writing more fascinating while making it easier to comprehend.

When feasible, use descriptive verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. It is also beneficial to have another person check through your work and point out any errors or omissions they see. Then, make all the essential revisions and modifications in a second draft. To ensure that your final draft is the best it can be, go through this procedure again.


Here are the most asked my last duchess questions and answers; hopefully, these questions will help you in writing an essay!

      i.        What is the meaning of My Last Duchess?

Because her title only knows her, the foreboding aspect of her disappearance foreshadows what will happen to many other nameless Duchesses in the ahead. She is not alone. Moreover, the title “Duchess” serves as a reminder of the importance of position in the poem.

    ii.        What is the lesson of My Last Duchess?

In “My Last Duchess,” Robert Browning argues that although the Duke cherishes art, he is unable to comprehend beauty in its natural form. The fact is that there is more beauty in life than in any work of art, and no artist can aspire to create anything more than a poor imitation.

   iii.        What happens to the Duchess in My Last Duchess?

The Duke kills the Duchess in “My Last Duchess” because she fails to recognize his social rank and the “nine-hundred-year-old name” that she now holds due to her relationship with him. She lacks regard for the title and tends to be “too easily impressed.”

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