My Last Duchess By Robert Browning

Robert Browning was born May 7, 1812 in Camberwell, London. His father was a senior clerk in the Bank of England. However, his mother was a talented pianist. Browning’s love for writing dramatic monologues came from his father who also had a love for art and literature. Browning attended two schools, Rev. Thomas Ready and the University of London. However, Browning only lasted half a year in the college (Welcome… np). On September 12, 1846, Robert Browning married Elizabeth Barrett, who was also an author to many works. This marriage resulted in Browning’s son in 1849. His first work, Pauline: A Fragment of a Confession, was first issued in 1833. It was Browning’s second work that brought about his glorious talents in the literature world …show more content…
The poem is set in the Victorian Era of the Renaissance. The poem begins as the Duke of Ferrara is walking down the hallway of his art gallery with his future wife’s father. He stops in front of a portrait of his late wife, who has passed away. The Duke begins to talk about her imperfections and things that were against his standards. “…the young woman’s “faults” were qualities like compassion, modesty, humility, delight in simple pleasures, and courtesy to those who served her” (“Overview: ‘My Last…” np). This made the father of the future wife begin to assume that the Duke had killed his late wife due to the behaviors she exhibited. Since the Duke had been so strict towards his wife, the father expected that he would be the same towards his future wife. This did come across as alarming to the father as he had already suspected that the Duke had murdered his wife. The Duke felt that he should be able to control his wife and overpower her. When the Duke could no longer control her, he murdered her (“Overview: ‘My Last...” …show more content…
W. Hefferman, he found My Last Duchess to be, “truly remarkable in the history of ekphrasis” (“My Last Duchess” np). The work has also been known to be a very demanding and overpowering poem. The work shows how a simple man can expect his wife to behave in a particular way in order to meet his needs. Some said it even showed how arrogant the Duke was towards his wife. She was expected to cater to him for every need he had; however, she felt as though that was not her duty as his wife. Some of the critics also considered the work to be “an attack on the arrogance and abuse of power on the part of the aristocracy” (“My Last Duchess” np). It seemed as though his monologue in the poem was telling the father what he was expecting from his wife which was complete control over her (“My Last Duchess”

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