I call That piece a wonder, now: She had A heart—how shall I say? 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. This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together.
Mysteriously at the age of seventeen, the young duchess disappeared. Save for riming couplets, the piece relies mostly on a fairly literal narrative as spoken by the Duke. I call That piece a wonder, now: She had A heart—how shall I say?
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.
This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands As if alive. Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
This grew; The duke seems to become unsettled remembering that so many things made the young woman smile with joy. He makes his disgusting jealousy abundantly plain.
She should have kept her attention and smiles only for him, or so this egomaniac believed. After all, he is the bearer of a name that is nine-hundred-years old. Apparently, he tried without success to make her comprehend the fact that only he deserved her smiles.
He does not say that he commanded that she be killed. He then pivots to the portrait: The duke then, however, orders his visitor to get up out of his seat and go with him to greet "the company below.
The duke surmises that the "fair daughter" will fetch him a nice sized dowry; however, he makes the lame attempt to reassure the listener that, of course, he has more concern for the daughter than for her fine dowry.
He is attracted to art that includes the act of "taming" or subjugating. And he boosts his own superiority by portraying pieces that were made especially for him by famous artists. The poem plays out in 28 rimed couplets. It remains distinctly literal, not relying on metaphor, image, or any other figurative language that so many poems employ for effect.
The final image embodies the sculpture of Neptune taming the sea horse. The spelling, "rhyme," was introduced into English by Dr. Samuel Johnson through an etymological error. For my explanation for using only the original form, please see " Rime vs Rhyme:Indeed, the poem provides a classic example of a dramatic monologue: the speaker is clearly distinct from the poet; an audience is suggested but never appears in the poem; and the revelation of the Duke’s character is the poem’s primary aim.
to be a dramatic monologue a poem must have a speaker and an implied auditor, and that the reader often perceives a gap between what that speaker says and what he or she actually reveals.
1. The reader takes the part of the silent listener. 2. The speaker uses a case-making, argumentative tone. 3. Browning presents all these ingredients in the most appealing and fascinating platter, “My Last Duchess” being his all time masterpiece when it came to dramatic monologues.
A tension between sympathy and judgement, a power play between amazement and a sense of morality are among the striking features of dramatic monologue. My Last Duchess by Robert Browning is a dramatic monologue spoken by the Duke Ferrari.
It highlights the jealous and sadistic nature of his character and the weirdness that surrounds his late wife’s demise. The Duke's monologue in "My Last Duchess" unveils his persona as courteous, cultured, and terrifying, as he describes a portrait of his late wife in stark detail.
Browning's "My Last Duchess," first published in Dramatic Lyrics in , is one of the best known of his many dramatic monologues. "My Last Duchess," by Robert Browning, is an example of a dramatic monologue because it is a poem written from the viewpoint of a character who is definitively not the author of the poem.
Robert Browning himself didn't kill his "last duchess"—instead, he is expressing, in verse form, the story of an imaginary man who did.