My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

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  • My Last Duchess
    • Structure
      • Iambic pentameter underlines the dramatic monologue and adds to his self importance.
        • It is also like the heartbeat of the portrait
        • Makes it more of a story
    • Poem
      • Duchess is dead at the time of the poem
      • The narrator is the Duke/ husband of the Duchess
        • Unreliable, he feels that he is the one who has been wronged, we only get his side of the story.
        • Most likely Alfonso II, a Italian Duke who married, at the age of 25, married 14 year old Lucrezia de' Medici
    • Author- Robert Browning
      • English poet and playwright
    • Themes
      • Pride
        • The Duke is proud in/of himself this can be seen in "my gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name"
        • The Duke is proud of his possesions which can be seen in the last 10 or so lines of the poem where this is what he talks about.
          • However, the Duchess is also viewed as a possesion
      • Jealousy
        • He was jealous of other men and thought his wife was cheating on him
      • Power
        • The Duke has and wants power over others
          • His wife- controls who sees her, killed her etc. The visitors- doesn't let them speak, assumes he knows what they want to ask him
    • Form
      • Dramatic monologue
        • The Duke is the only character that is speaking, draws attention back to the fact he is self-absorbed
          • Adds power to the Duke


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