Robert browning-My last Duchess

some notes about the poem my last duchess by Robert Browning

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what's it about?

Its about a Duke who is talking to the count's assistant.

The count owns a daughter who the Duke is going to marry.

the assistant has come to talk to the duke about a dowry.

a dowry is money which is given the the groom in order to say thankyou for marrying the bride.

the duke then walks down the halls with the assistant whilst looking at paintings.

he sees one of his last wife and talks about how she smiled at everyone showing his jealousy of how she was nice to others.

he then says "all smiles stopped" showing he has got rid of her.

He then moves on as if everything is fine.

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  • the poem is monologue
  • its in rhyming couplets giving it a fast rhythm
  • Enjambment is also used.
  • repition is used
  • fast rhythm showing urgent movement-Could represent the Duke moving alog showing the paintings
  • spoken by the duke in first person narrative-gives us the person of the envoy allowing us to feel what the envoy feels
  • has sort of a flashback in order to show his feeling about the duchess and what happened in the past.
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The title

The title which is the last duchess tells us about the royality of the man and his wife and gives us an impression on the Duke and what his personality may be like and how he may treat others. the fact he is royal may tell us that he is quite snobby and looks down on others. he also feel that his wife is a possesion and feels that he can do with her what he wants.

The poem also has sub titile which is ferrara. This is because the duke is the Duke of Ferrara which is a place in Italy . Ferrara was also a centre for the arts and music during the reinnaissance. This shows royality and the type of place that the Duke lives in

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The genre of the poem is romance which creates an idea within the readers head about what the poem will be about and the typical things which which would be in a romantic poem. This gives the impression that the poem is going to be about the love of two people and be a typical romantic poem. This then surprises us when the poem is its the same as that genre normally would be making the poem seem surprising when the poem is baout the Duke's last duchess.

It makes us feel that the Duke is going to be to be romantic and talk about what he loved about his last duchess. This then comes as a surprise to us when the Duke mostly talks about all of the Duchesses bad points.

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