For people confronted with an increasingly complex and anonymous modern world, this impulse comes naturally: to control would seem to be to conserve and stabilize. Summary This poem is loosely based on historical events involving Alfonso, the Duke of Ferrara, who lived in the 16th century. In these latter considerations Browning prefigures writers like Charles Baudelaire and Oscar Wilde. I have to study it, just got through the introduction, will comment later may take awhile. In many of his poems, violence, along with sex, becomes the symbol of the modern urban-dwelling condition.
Who he addresses is unknown at first but later it becomes clear that the listener is an envoy marriage broker, emissary representing another aristocrat. She thanked men, — good! One can also detect that the artist was given only one day to complete the painting indicating that the Duke is afraid about any advancements between his wife and the artist. The speaker thinks the picture a wonder, now perhaps because he's had a little time to digest it and ponder on the fact that his wife is no more. But the duke first mentions that this listener's boss, The Count, is known for his wealth so he expects to get a decent dowry. The duke here pulls the mask off his own face.
What this could suggest is that the duchess was in fact guilty of greater transgression than he claims, that instead of flirtation, she might have physically or sexually betrayed him. The statue is of Neptune taming a sea-horse. He does not answer that question, but the fact that he notes this gives a little bit of insight into why he was the only one who was allowed to open the curtain. The man that is visiting is going to help him remarry to another young girl just like his first wife. As he contemplates the fall of Rome and how their bodies keep their souls from joining together, he finds the strength to persevere. This grew; I gave commands Then all smiles stopped together.
If the reader could understand every word of his works like —My Last Duchess, it could lead to evolution of thoughts, personal growth and new understanding of the world. He praises the portrait as a masterpiece by Fra Pandolf. The Duke, though a wealthy and proud character, is not seen in a good light. Browning's purpose in creating the Duke is to make a statement about the comparative values of sophistication and naturalness. Lines 5 - 21 The duke asks the as yet unknown second person if he'd care to sit and study the portrait. During the negotiations, the Duke takes the servant upstairs into his private art gallery and shows him several of the objects in his collection.
Again there is judgement, it's as if the duke despised her for being ' Too easily impressed' suggesting she was frivolous, superficial, unable to discern between the important and the trivial Sir, 'twas all one! Consequently, the rhymes do not create a sense of closure when they come, but rather remain a subtle driving force behind the Duke's compulsive revelations. Browning no doubt had this in mind when he wrote the poem, an attempt to explore the dominant role of the male in society, the idea of ownership and the position of women in marriage. The poem opens with the narrator who is most likely the Duke, addressing an emissary of the count regarding a portrait of his late wife or the last duchess. By no means can we justify the idea that the duke is willing to transcend class, but at the same time he does allow a transgression of the very hierarchy that had previously led him to have his wife murdered rather than discuss his problems with her. The most engaging element of the poem is probably the speaker himself, the duke. He has written many such poems but My Last Duchess is deservedly the best of his dramatic monologues for it depicts contrasting lives of a merry woman and a stern man. In this section, the Duke seems to be remembering his former Duchess and all that bothered him about her.
As poet, he attempts to capture contradiction and movement, psychological complexity that cannot be pinned down into one object, and yet in the end all he can create is a collection of static lines. He asks his listener to sit and look at the life sized painting of her. The reader has to decide whether or not this man has done away with the duchess, still behind the curtain with that passionate glance, perhaps showing her true nature? He wanted to be the only person, the only object of her affection. This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. However, the in this is that the theme of appears throughout the lecture that the duke delivers. By mentioning the name of Claus of Innsbruck the duke is showing that he's really in it for the money and prestige. Hanawalt, Oxford University Press, 1986 a little obscure reading for a long winter's night.
And also that his work had already been drawn from heavily for social evidence. Or at least, that was his perception. The excellence of the poem lies in the dramatic irony of the Duke's witlessness. This reveals that his family had been around for a very long time and thus he gave her a well known and prestigious name in marrying her. Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me! No matter what happens, he knows he cannot help but continue to pursue his beloved. The style and structure of this poem play a significant role in the effect of the poem.
Also check out that has one of, if not the, largest database of poetry analysis online — if I have not analysed a poem you are looking for on Ask Will Online, you will find it on PoemAnalysis. The of the poem is a private art gallery in the palace of the duke to show that his love is genuine. In many ways, this is the artist's dilemma, which Browning explores in all of his work. The Narcissus complex of the Duke and the resultant jealously could not go hand in hand with the humanitarian values of the Duchess and the conflict raised to the climax must bring the tragedy. No one will believe that a wife should look only at her husband, except in societies that believe that all women are naturally evil! The Duke is, in fact, neither dull nor shrewd to perfection.