My Last Duchess. By Robert Browning . Brief Biography. That’s my last duchess painted on the wall ,looking as if she was still alive. I call that piece a wonder now: Fra pandolf’s hands worked busily a day, and there she stands. Historical Background.
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My Last Duchess By Robert Browning
Brief Biography That’s my last duchess painted on the wall ,looking as if she was still alive. I call that piece a wonder now: Fra pandolf’s hands worked busily a day, and there she stands
Historical Background • This poem ,set in the sixteenth century in a castle in northern Italy ,based on events from the life of the duke of Ferrara ,a nobleman whose first wife died after just three years of marriage.
Brief summary of plot • The speaker of the poem is a duke , and he is talking about a painting of his dead wife. Who was young and pretty its turns out that the duke killed his wife. He did it because she was to nice to everyone– not just him. He was jealous even of her smiling at people. The twist at the end is where you realize that he’s talking to a messenger who is arranging the dukes marriage to another young pretty girl.
Thesis Statement • In “My last duchess” , a poem by Robert Browning , Ferrara speaks of his first wife and the devotion and obedience he expected from her. Despite some evidence to the contrary it becomes obvious, through certain hints from Ferrara that he has killed his wife.
The Theme Is…. • It is mainly fixated on the duke’s power, jealousy , madness and self-pride. He is egotistic and terribly jealous of the woman’s lover. He is controlling and believes he is better. He kills his wife in treachery not because he had caught her in anything he is mentally unstable.
Cite specific examples from the poem • This story of a man who has, out of jealousy and insecurity, disposed of his wife, most likely by murder, is chillingly told by Browning through the voice of the murderer himself in a dramatic monologue. Throughout, Browning turns the speaker’s words against himself: the apparently all-powerful narrator loses control of his narrative, just as he lost control of his wife, and must kill his story in order to continue in his plans to gain another wife.
Analyzing the poem • That's my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will 't please you sit and look at her? I said 'Frà Pandolf' by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst, How such a glance came there; so, not the first Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 't was not Her husband's presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps Frà Pandolf chanced to say, 'Her mantle laps Over my lady's wrist too much,' or 'Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat:' such stuff Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough For calling up that spot of joy. She had A heart -- how shall I say? -- too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere. Sir, 't was all one! My favour at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace -- all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least. She thanked men, -- good! but thanked Somehow -- I know not how -- as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame This sort of trifling? Even had you skill In speech -- (which I have not) -- to make your will Quite clear to such an one, and say, 'Just this Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, Or there exceed the mark' -- and if she let Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, -- E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands As if alive. Will 't please you rise? We'll meet The company below then. I repeat, The Count your master's known munificence Is ample warrant that no just pretence Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
Figurative Language • Along with blushes, the Duchess bestows pleased smiles on anyone and anything that brings a little bit of joy into her life. The Duke thinks of these smiles almost the way you might think of collector’s items – they’re worth less (maybe even worthless) because she gives out so many of them. In fact, it seems like the Duke thinks that the Duchess should only smile for him.
What does the poem mean.. • This poem is loosely based on historical events involving Alfonso, the Duke of Ferrara, who lived in the 16th century. The Duke is the speaker of the poem, and tells us he is entertaining an emissary who has come to negotiate the Duke’s marriage (he has recently been widowed) to the daughter of another powerful family. As he shows the visitor through his palace, he stops before a portrait of the late Duchess, apparently a young and lovely girl. The Duke begins reminiscing about the portrait sessions, then about the Duchess herself. His musings give way to a diatribe on her disgraceful behavior: he claims she flirted with everyone and did not appreciate his “gift of a nine-hundred-years- old name.
Work Cited.. • http://www.emule.com/2poetry/phorum/read.php?4,5354 • http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/10481.html
Restate Thesis • In “My last duchess” , a poem by Robert Browning , Ferrara speaks of his first wife and the devotion and obedience he expected from her. Despite some evidence to the contrary it becomes obvious, through certain hints from Ferrara that he has killed his wife.