my last dutches

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on going themes 


social control

"since none puts by the curtain i have drawn for you but i"

-he controls who sees the painting but couldn’t control her when she was alive

-The painting of his last duchess is covered by a curtain which only the Duke may draw. This is significant, because later on he elaborates how he did not like the fact that the duchess “looked on, and her looks went everywhere.” Now, he controls who gets to see her face, and doesn’t need to worry about other men seeing her as they used to.

-the theme of controlling is seen here

the verb "drawn" is in past tense implieing that the duchess ics dead

she has a heart-- how shall i say?-- too soon made glad too easily impressed; she liked wharte'er she loooked on and her looks went everywhere. sir, 't was all one!

-The Duke begins to explain what angered him about the duchess. He did not like the way she was nice, attentive, and possibly even flirtatious with everyone. He viewed her as lacking good taste. She was “too easily impressed” with everything, and because everything and everyone seemed to bring the same joy to her, the Duke felt as though he were not especially appreciated and loved.

-The pauses, paired with the rhetorical question, are extremely important. The Duke’s menacing character starts to emerge in this line.

-The hyphenation before “How shall I say?” emphasises Browning’s use of euphemistic language: as if the misogynistic character is attempting to converse with the reader, declaring his covetous nature over his duchess, whilst sustaining the insular perceptions of higher-class men. It’s as if he is trying to portray the Duchess in a derogatory way without seeming overly pernicious or criticising towards her.

my gift of a 9 hundren year old name 

-Lucruzia’s family, the Medici, had their recent origin in merchants, but the Este family could be traced back 650 years.

-This shows that the duke takes pride in his name and believes he is raising the Duchess’s status by marrying her. He ignores the fact of the dowry he received and the importance of the Medici family in Florence.

-In any case, the duke seems to think in terms of the gifts he wants to give, not…


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