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My Last Duchess

Robert Browning

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The Last Duchess
2005-07-28
Added by: Ry
She was not blindly in love with the Duke but too young back then to understand the implications!
2005-07-28
Added by: Sim
I think the duchess could have been a friendly, caring or maybe even shy women who was being treated like shit from the Duke who was extremely sexist and wanted to control everything and most of all the duchess. But she could also have been a tease to other men and just wanted attenton like most 14 year old girls.
The Duke's Anger
2005-07-28
Added by: Eden
The Duke had reason to be enraged because of the Duchess' behaviour, but still treated her unfairly.
Because she is dead we only get his view of how things were and can't make educated judgements.
He seems a bit pompous and possessive. Very male!
2005-07-28
Added by: Tom
The duchess in this poem is deliberately hidden from view but I think that it shows that she is a woman of simple mind (which is not necessarily a negative thing) – in Line 23, ‘too soon made glad, too easily impressed’ - and she cares little for the social customs of the period in which she lives, which demanded subservience and timidity of woman of her social status.

She was naïve, simple, and happy.

The Duke loved the Duchess – because she is referenced with the most poetic lines of the poem – and is utterly depressed that his actions (ambiguous to say the least) caused her death.
the duke
2005-07-28
Added by: jessica
The Duke got so caught up in his own jealousy that he thought that if I don't get all the looks that she can give then no one will ever see them again. He was mad but not bad exactly; he just wanted her all to himself and in the end he got what he wanted even at the expense of her life.
my last duchess
2005-07-28
Added by: annonomous
The duke seemed to be very aware of the duchess’ flirting while she was alive, and now has her in a picture reminding him of her every time he sees her, for this I think he is keeping her in his castle even though she is no longer there, to make her stay with him and him only for the rest of his life, He was jealous that she could have any man she wanted, so when he assigned someone to kill her he knew it would be the only way to have her!
As his jealousy got stronger and stronger from the duchess’ unrestrained flirting, he knew the only way to have her was to get someone to kill her for him as he could not kill her himself as he loved her far too much, he loved her that much that he needed her to be dead to love her properly, with no interferences!
My last Duchess
2005-07-28
Added by: josh hartnett
Before the Duchess died at the age of 14, I think that she might have been a shy yet adventerous women. The duchess seems like she would be simple minded. I feel sorry for her in a way. The Duke soulds like he owned her, that she was just one of his possesions. I don't think that she had much of a life that wasn't guarded by the Duke. She was his trophy or his 'Duchess painted on the wall' as the poem quoated. :-)
My Last Duchess
2005-07-28
Added by: lord thistlewaite
There are two sides to every story. The Duchess was only 14 years of age when she was killed by the Duke's commands so it is debatable whether or not she could understand what would result of her actions. She wasn't wise enough to realise that the Duke would react so abruptly and violently to her actions. I think that the Duchess would have been a flirtatious, not so much innocent, beautiful, dishonest, sneaky, charming girl that would also have a way with words so that she could charm men into doing what she wanted them to do and manipulating them by using the power and position that she had acquired when marrying the Duke to get men to do what she wanted them to do. She tried to fool the Duke but the Duke saw right through her (Her wits to yours, forsooth and made excuse. The Duke knew what was happening in the Duchess' life when she wasn't around and decided that if he couldn't have her than nobody could so he gave commands for her to be killed. This shows that the Duke is an enigmatic creature with a warped sense of reality and to show that even though she is gone and he is seeking a new Duchess he still keeps a painting of her as if she is watching over him and his actions with other women. Maybe this is his own sick way of showing that he can be with other women too or that he has moved on even though we know he hasn't.
The duchess
2006-01-11
Added by: Sir Ben Dover
I think it is a way for Robert Browning to express his own expressions towards the portrait of the duchess.
Danke
2006-01-17
Added by: Laura
Thanx for all ur comments - especially that guy who wrote like a whole essay!! lol

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