"My Last Duchess" by By Robert Browning

Categories: My Last DuchessPoetry

My Last Duchess is no exception as it immediately gives the reader a sense that the narrator, The Duke, see’s his late wife as a possession. He refers to her with the possessive pronoun ‘My’ to try, it appears; to regain a certain degree of control over her. This wanting of control is further explored when he says that ‘The curtain I have drawn for you,’ which portrays the sense that he feels he is the one who is giving others the right to see his wife.

During the Renaissance (a period which Browning based his characters society as) was a time that was largely seen as patriarchal, and so the duke would typically want to conform to this norm. The Duke shows a sociopathic attitude, being so controlling over her wife up to the point where he has her murdered just for being nice to other people but him. This is portrayed in the poem through the use of phrases such as ‘y object’ or ‘My Last Duchess’.

Constant repetition of possessive pronouns suggests the very strong sense of ownership of the Duke.

Also, the structure of the poem, written in iambic pentameter combined with rhyming couplets. This is a very fixed and closed structure which may be interpreted as an actual reflection of the very intense control The Duke desired to have over his wife. Finally, the social impact of the poem was important. It is possible that the poem was controversial, due to the fact that it dared to speculate in an ironic tone that a very important social and political character had murdered her wife just to marry another woman with a higher social status.

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"My Last Duchess" by By Robert Browning. (2016, Dec 24). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/my-last-duchess-by-by-robert-browning-essay

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